A piece of aluminium that looks as if it was handmade is being hailed as 250,000-year-old proof that aliens once visited Earth.
Builders found the 20cm-long chunk on the shores of the Mures River in Aiud, Romania, about 33 feet underground in 1973, with the details only just surfacing.
Archeologists enlisted to study the aluminium initially thought it might be the end of an ace, but further study found it was an extremely lightweight metal that had been manufactured.
Tests showed that the object is made of 12 metals, 90% aluminium, and it was dated by Romanian officials as being 250,000 years old.
More experts brought in to conduct tests said the dates were far later, ranging between 400 and 80,000 years old – but even at 400 years old it would still be 200 years earlier than when aluminium was first produced.
The object has concavities that suggest that it was part of a more complex mechanical system – and possibly alien in origin.
Gheorghe Cohal, the Deputy Director of the Romanian Ufologists Association, told local media: “Lab tests concluded it is an old UFO fragment given that the substances it comprises cannot be combined with technology available on Earth.”
The metal object has now gone on display in the History Museum of Cluj-Napoca.
Its label reads: “Origin still unknown”.