When a 15-foot metal cylinder plummets from the sky and crash lands somewhere, you can hardly blame people for feeling a bit like Chicken Little: Is the sky falling?
This is essentially what happened in Myanmar (formerly called Burma) last week in one of the stranger international news stories in recent memory.
Ironically, Myanmar has been in the international news lately: While the country is the world's top-producer of the gemstone jade, an unprecedented discovery of a single solid jade stone weighing as much as 200 metric tonnes made headlines a few weeks ago.
Unidentified Falling Object
Near a defunct jade mine in Kachin state, located in the northern region of the country, an object measuring roughly 15 feet across and 4 feet high crashed into the earth. The impact caused a deafening bang that locals described "like artillery fire." The object then reportedly bounced 150 feet into the air! It eventually settled in an area of mud.
Smoke and "an acrid burning smell" filled the air while other pieces of metal debris broke through a nearby roof. Thankfully, nobody was injured.
Media speculation pointed toward the possibility that the mysterious object was a jet engine or some sort of space debris. One man at the scene reported seeing copper wire and diode, according to the Myanmar Times.
Perhaps the most telling clue that could identify the metal cylinder is the fact that Chinese characters were noticed on the piece of debris that damaged a roof. Coincidentally, China had launched an experimental satellite the previous day. The satellite originated from Xichang (where the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center is located), which happens to lie on nearly the same latitude line as the object's landing site in Myanmar.
Analysts at the BBC have speculated that the cylinder could be part of the rocket used to launch the Chinese satellite. These rocket components are designed to break off during the flight, but usually fall into the ocean.
An investigation is still being conducted.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.