An out of place artifact (oopart) is the name given to a prehistoric object found in an unusual or impossible context. Ooparts are usually described as objects created with technology too advanced for the level of civilization characteristic to the era to which they have been dated.
Many view ooparts as evidence that mainstream science is omitting important areas of knowledge, either willfully or through ignorance.
In 1991, researchers performing geological surveys on several Russian river banks discovered hundreds of tiny coil-shaped artifacts, some as small as 1/10,000th of an inch.
The researchers were doing mineralogical studies for prospecting in the Ural mountains and one can imagine their bafflement at the discovery.
They were found at depths between 10 and 40 feet (3-12 meters) and could be anywhere between 20,000 and 318,000 years old.
The largest ones are 1.18 inches (3 centimeters) in length while the smallest are only 2.5 microns long. For comparison, the average strand of hair is about 100 microns wide. The larger coils are made from copper while the smaller ones are made from tungsten or molybdenum.
Their shape suggests they are not naturally occurring metal fragments and they actually resemble modern nanotechnology components.
These ooparts have sparked a heated debate that continues to this day. The mysterious microscopic structures have been dated at 300,000 years old. Was Earth home to a technologically advanced society at the time or are these artifacts evidence of some other intelligence headquartered on our planet?
Our current society has developed nanotechnology only recently due to numerous and well-known limitations. Mainstream science does not accept a technological level beyond the occasional use of fire for humans that inhabited the Earth 300 millennia ago.
Scientists were not able to determine who or what produced these particular structures but one thing is for certain: they are not natural since no known process is able to produce such items.
Though some have asserted that these tiny structures are merely debris left behind from test rockets being launched from nearby Plesetsk space station, a report from the Moscow Institute determined that they are far too old to have come from modern manufacturing.
In 1996, Dr. E.W. Matvejeva, from the Central Scientific Research Department of Geology and Exploitation of Precious Metals in Moscow, writes that, despite being thousands of years old, the components are of a technological origin.
Facilities from Helsinki and St. Petersburg have also backed up the claims that the coil-shaped objects are manufactured and indeed very old.
The artifacts have been studied at four different facilities in Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Moscow. However, further research into these tiny structures seems to have ended in 1999 with the de̳a̳t̳h̳ of Dr. Johannes Fiebag, a principal researcher of the find.
This finding raises many questions. Were humans able to master nanotechnology in the Pleistocene era? At the time of Homo erectus, who mastered such advanced industrial science? Was Earth home to a long-lost civilization or are these artifacts remnants of a̳l̳i̳e̳n̳ visitors?
We might never know.