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On a cold December day in 2001, three men took their truck and drove 50 kilometers east from their village Lia in order to collect firewood. The village of Lia is located in the district of Tsalenjhikha, approximately 320 km north-west of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia.

Late in the afternoon, after the sun had gone down, the men discovered two curious objects. Lying in the forest path were two metallic cylinders. Around them, the snow had thawed up to a radius of approximately 1 meter, and the wet soil was steaming. The objects were small—about 6 inches tall and 4 inches across—but heavy. One of the men picked one up, but finding that it was hot, dropped it immediately. Encouraged by the unusual but welcome find, the men changed their plans. They decided that since it was getting dark, they would spend the night in the forest and return with the firewood the next morning. They would use the hot cylinders, whatever they were, to keep themselves warm during the frigid night.

strontium cylinders in lia

The mysterious hot cylinders the men discovered in the forest.


© Amusing Planet, 2020.



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