Environment Arctic time capsule from 2018 washes up in Ireland as polar ice melts


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When the crew and passengers of the nuclear-powered icebreaker ship 50 Years of Victory reached the north pole in 2018, they placed a time capsule in the ice floe.

The metal cylinder contained letters, poems, photographs, badges, beer mats, a menu, wine corks – ephemera from the early 21st century for whomever might discover it in the future.

The future came pretty swiftly. The cylinder was found this week on the north-western tip of Ireland after floating an estimated 2,300 miles from the Arctic Circle, where global heating is melting a record amount of ice.

Conor McClory and Sophie Curran, surfers from the village of Gweedore in county Donegal, were checking sea conditions when they spotted the tube on the shore at Bloody Foreland, a beauty spot named for the red hue of the rocks at sunset.

“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,” McClory told the Donegal Daily. “When I saw the date on it I thought it could be somebody’s ashes, so I didn’t open it.”

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