Russian scientists claim to have found 300 million-year-old machine gear in lump of coal

// January 25th, 2013 // News

Metal gear in lump of Russian coal

A resident of Vladivostok in Russia has discovered a piece of coal from the Chernogorodskiy mines that contains what appears to be the remains of a machine that is 300 million years old. The man noticed the artifact in the coal and puzzled, took it to seek help from the scientists of Primorye region. According to The Voice of Russia, the coal was formed 300 million years ago, which is why scientists believe the item inside dates back to that era too:

When geologists broke the piece of coal in which the metal object was pressed into and spot-treated in with special chemical agents, it turned out that the metal detail was unusually light and soft. No more than seven centimeters long, the object was found to be composed of 98 percent aluminum and 2 percent magnesium. On the one hand, such an alloy stalled the scientists because nearly pure aluminum is very rarely found in nature. Thus, the detail was most definitely created artificially. On the other hand, however, when it became clear that the object was made from aluminum-magnesium alloy the experts quickly found an answer to the question of how a metal detail could withstand the ravages of time so well. The scientists explained that pure aluminum is increasingly prone to oxidization which contributes to the creation of a special layer protecting it from further corrosion. As a result, the metal detail made 98 percent from aluminum can endure not only high pressure but also heat and other severe natural conditions.

Another question that interests Russian scientists is whether the aluminum alloy is of Earthly origin. It is known from the study of meteorites that there exists extra-terrestrial aluminum-26 which subsequently breaks down to magnesium-26. The presence of 2 percent of magnesium in the alloy might well point to the alien origin of the aluminum detail. Nonetheless, further testing is needed to confirm this hypothesis.

The last property of the object that puzzled the scientists was its distinctive shape which was reminiscent of a modern tooth-wheel. It is hard to imagine that an object could take regular shape of a tooth-wheel with six identical ‘teeth’ naturally. Moreover, the intervals between the ‘teeth’ of the gear are curiously large in relation to the size of the ‘teeth’ themselves which might mean that the detail was a part of a complicated mechanism. Nowadays, such ‘spare parts’ are used in construction of microscopes and other mechanical appliances. This poses yet another unanswerable question to the modern scientists: how can the metal tooth-wheel be 300 million years old if the regular-shaped ‘wheel’ itself was created by man millions of years later.

It is not unusual to find artifacts in coal. In 1851 when the workers in one of the Massachusetts mines extracted a zinc silver-incrusted vase from a block of unmined coal which dated all the way back to the Cambrian era which was approximately 500 million years ago. Sixty one years later, American scientists from Oklahoma discovered an iron pot which was pressed into a piece of coal aged 312 million years old.

Sources: The Voice of Russia




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