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The Planet
Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

People aboard the Russian icebreaker ship 50 Years of Victory in 2018 believed the time capsule they placed in ice in the Arctic Circle would stay there for at least three decades—and were shocked to learn this week that in just two years, the ice melt in the Arctic has been so severe that the container has already been uncovered.

Conor McClory and Sophie Curran of County Donegal, Ireland found the metal container washed up on the shore on the country's northwestern coast, 2,300 miles away from where it had been left in an ice floe two years earlier.

The capsule contained photos, poems, a restaurant menu, and other artifacts that people aboard 50 Years of Victory had thought would give whoever found the container—in an estimated 30 to 50 years—a sense of what life was like in the early 21st century.

"Everything around is covered by ice," one passenger wrote in a letter. "We think that by the time this letter will be found there is no more ice in Arctic unfortunately."

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