Jade mines in northern Myanmar have had a strange few weeks. Last month, miners discovered a hunk of jade worth $170 million. A few weeks on, another mine has been struck by a mysterious 4.5-meter (15-foot) metal object.
The metal cylinder crash landed on Thursday, November 10, at a mine between two rural villages in the northern state of Kachin. Locals heard an explosion in the morning and felt the ground quake around them. This was followed by an acrid smell of burning in the air. One house was struck with a small piece of debris, although fortunately no one was hurt.
“Initially, we thought it was a battle," local resident Daw Ma Kyi told the Myanmar Times. "The explosion made our houses shake. We saw the smoke from our village."
On closer inspection, they found an object adorned with Chinese characters. However, the authorities are still no closer to finding out what the object is.
“Experts are there checking it," Kachin State government deputy director U Zaw Myo Nyunt told the newspaper. "They also assumed that it was part of some aircraft or rocket."
State media Global New Light speculated that it could either be a satellite, a plane engine, or even a missile. China launched a rocket carrying multiple satellites on Wednesday, some 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) away at the Jiuquan satellite launch center in the Gobi Desert. Beijing has stayed quiet on the matter, but it is possible the debris could be part of the rocket.