Arctic time capsule buried in just 2018 washes up in Ireland after polar ice melts

The metal cylinder was packed in an ice floe by the crew and passengers from the Russian icebreaker ship 50 Years of Victory when it reached the North Pole, with the intention it would be found far in the future.

Joe Middleton
Thursday 05 November 2020 16:28
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A polar bear makes a giant leap from one ice floe to another in the Arctic
A polar bear makes a giant leap from one ice floe to another in the Arctic

A time capsule buried in the Arctic Circle in 2018 has already been discovered due to global warming melting polar ice.

The metal cylinder was packed in an ice floe by the crew and passengers from the Russian icebreaker ship 50 Years of Victory when it reached the North Pole, with the intention it would be found far in the future.

However the capsule - which contained among other things, letters, photographs and wine corks - was picked up in 2,3000 miles away in county Donegal, Ireland, just two years later by surfer Conor McClory.

Mr McClory told the Donegal Daily: '“When I saw it, first I thought it was a steel pipe of a ship, then I lifted it and saw there was engraving on it. I thought it was a bomb then.

“When I saw the date on it I thought it could be somebody’s ashes, so I didn’t open it."

He added: “I rang a mate who has a Russian friend and he translated it for me.”

Mr McClory managed to find a Russian blogger, called Sveta, who placed a letter in the time capsule. She was shocked to learn he found the cylinder and expected it not to be located for another 30 to 50 years.

It comes as just last month scientists warned about the lack of sea ice in the Arctic due to a period of warm weather in northern Russian.

Zachary Labe, a climate scientist at Colorado State University, said the Arctic was experiencing an “historic event” and that the extent of sea ice was “currently the lowest on record for the date”.

He said: “The amount of open water this fall is absurd. We have to pay attention to these climate change indicators.”

Just last year the Greenland ice sheet lost a record amount of ice, equivalent to 1 million tonnes every minute. 

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