A 19-year-old Latvian man posted a photo on Reddit of a massive container he found on a fishing trip only to discover it was an undetonated First World War sea mine, so he decided to dismantle it, ignoring social media advice.
Last month, a Reddit user posted a photo in the subreddit /whatisthisthing a photo of an object he found while out fishing.
“Found this when fishing in Latvia, weighs more than 120kg. Maybe an old bomb?” Noriell wrote.
The Reddit user then slowly documented himself dismantling the large object, ignoring the advice of others.
“Took all the explosive material out. Please enlighten me and tell me how it’s called,” Noriell wrote.
U.K.-based UNILAD, a social media-driven news website, caught up with the Reddit user. He explained his thought process in opening up a suspected bomb. He explained his uncle discovered what they thought was a sea buoy at first, and the group decided to roll the thing home.
“Everyone thought it’s a sea buoy, I thought it’s some kind of bomb or something, because it reminded me of something from game called ‘BioShock’ and was pretty scared to touch it, but the next thing i see is we rolling it uphill (very steep) through bushes,” the man only identified Normunds told the website.
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Normunds said by the time they figured out it was a sea mine it was too late, they had already started gutting the bomb.
“We slammed the screws that were on it with a hammer and removed the primer on accident, once we saw what’s inside we freaked out because it was clearly a bomb, my dad recognized gun cotton and there were cables,” Normunds explained. “Then we figured out that we didn’t blow up because it’s been underwater for over 100 years, so we poured some more water on it and took all the pressed gun cotton out.”
Meanwhile, Reddit users were urging Normunds to stop playing around with it.
“Dude, that is the chemical center for a sea mine that will explode if set off by any primer. Get the hell away and call the police,” one commenter said.
“Please consider handing your possibly 100+ year old pile of explosives to the experts,” another user chimed in. “It might need ignition to explode, or just friction.”
The object was later identified as a sea mine from 1877, used during the First World War.
“If we would’ve known that it’s a mine we would never would have gone near it,” Normunds told UNILAD.
Normunds said the gutted mine now sits in his uncle’s garden.