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What The Heck Is This Thing???

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posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:15 AM
Greetings fellow members.

My son and I were recently at the beach, searching for rocks and large pebbles, suitable for being primed for painting. My son wanted to paint the names of his family members on them. While we were combing the beach for likely looking objects, I came across something, partially hidden in the sand. Upon first glance I thought it a discarded piece of masonry, such was the appearance of its surface, and the flatness of it. However, as I pried it loose from the sand surrounding the object, it became clear to me that its weight, relative to its size, was unusual. When it came free, I was even more surprised, if only because of the strangeness of its shape. Upon washing it in the water of the Thames Estuary, then resting it on the sea wall to look at it more closely, it rang out when set down, as if made of metal.

Here is the object in question:

When I turned it over, having rested it down on the sea wall, to observe the other side of the object, I spotted tiny marks where the surface patina of the object had been marred by the concrete of the sea wall, revealing the metal beneath. This can be seen in the second image I have posted. I pored over this object for days, invited a mechanic and history buff friend of mine over, who had no idea what it was, despite us having run down various thoughts as to what it might be, and where it might of come from. One thing he did point out to me, however, is that this thing on its own, weighs about the same as a gearbox, despite having no where near the volume of material one would expect to be necessary, to carry all that weight. We also believe that one side of the object is coated in a metal which is different to the other face, having identified a line down one edge of the object, where the two metals meet, and noted that the surface on one side is much smoother than the other, despite both being clearly made of some metallic substance of some sort.

It seems far too heavy to have washed ashore from a large ship out at sea, and at the same time far to heavy to have been mounted on, or part of a smaller craft, moored close to shore. We went through a whole list of possibilities, but none of them seemed to fit the object correctly...

Despite our best efforts, and most rigorous musings, we cannot figure out what this thing is for the life of us. And so, without further ado, I throw answering that question out to you, my fellow members.
edit on 25-7-2016 by TrueBrit because: correction.

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:23 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Wow TrueBrit, I dont know what that could be. I do hope it is worth a lot of money for you!

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:27 AM
Old whaling harpoon tip which broke off when the sukka took a desperate dive to get away?

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:34 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I have no idea, could it be used for tanning pelts/hides?

I'll flag ya, you got me curious.

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:36 AM
a reply to: Quantum12

At this point, I do not care what it is worth. All I want to know is where it came from, what it was used for, what it goes into, or onto. There appeared to be no fixing points on any plane of this object, no dowels, bolts, or locating pins of any kind. It is possible those notches at the end would allow it to slot into something, but to what end? It is the mystery which holds my attention, rather than the possible financial gain. To be honest, whatever it is is probably not worth a whole hell of a lot, except perhaps, as scrap!

OH DAMN! I forgot to mention.... It has numbers of some sort on it, but they are really hard to make out with the naked eye, such that my camera cannot pick them out at all. I will have to have another look in a bit when I finish work.

a reply to: TrueAmerican

Well, I would say this:

If a whaler could have hefted a harpoon with one of these as the tip, he would have needed a boat the size of an aircraft carrier to carry just his balls on. This thing would have been RIDICULOUSLY heavy as a tip for a penetrating weapon! That being said, the idea is sound, and I can see why you would go there... just for references sake, that thing is about one and one half inch thick.

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:38 AM
Looks like some kind of a weight that would be sewn or tied into something made of cloth or tied to something, from the corner cut-outs.

Maybe a weight for the bottom of an old school sailing vessel's sail.

Is it made of lead?, the patina looks like lead.
edit on 25-7-2016 by MyHappyDogShiner because: dumb

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:39 AM
I have no idea what it is, but it could be made of lead judging by the colour and weight.

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:40 AM
Lead weight used in netting?

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:41 AM
a reply to: BelowLowAnnouncement

I would not have thought it could have been used for that purpose. The reason I say that, is that although it is smooth on one side, it is still too rough to work leather on, without abrading the leather quite a bit on the rough edges. Furthermore, what would a piece of tanning equipment be doing washed up and buried on a beach in Essex? I can assure you, this object is carrying far too much weight to surface area, to have been propelled any significant distance by the tides. It is HEAVY, so whatever it is, must surely have been dumped or lost on the beach, from whatever mechanism, vessel, or other thing it used to fit into. The silly bit is, I have been living by the sea my entire life, and have never seen anything resembling it. Although it is likely maritime related, I have no idea what it could possibly be.

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:42 AM
Could it be a piece of ballast lead scrap from an old sailboat ballast box, or possibly was cast to fit inside a keel fin on a sailboat? or possibly a piece of a terne roof tile?
edit on 25-7-2016 by chopperswolf because: cause.

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:43 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I really hope you find out what it is and what the numbers stand for!
Here is one big harpooned whale.

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:44 AM
a reply to: MyHappyDogShiner



There is a particular sort of sailing vessel which is very common to the area in which I live, and has been for decades upon untold decades. Thames barges, large, usually two masted affairs they are... perhaps one of THOSE dropped this thing in times past? Well now, that could be a contender. As for being made of lead... it could be you know. Thats a bloody good shout that is. I will have to look into that possibility!

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:45 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit
Could a charcoal/paper rub help reveal the numbers/letters? Or are they too small?

(You probably know what I'm talking about but just in case, I mean put a piece of paper over it and then rub it with charcoal or pencil to identify any protruding areas)

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 10:47 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Could it be a slate shingle? Maybe off of an hold hut?

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 11:02 AM

You know what's sad? I have no idea what that thing is (besides an odd chunk of metal) but I can instantly identify the Gundam leg on the desk.

Is it malleable at all? Lead is a softer metal, malleability could help identify its origin.

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 11:05 AM
a reply to: BelowLowAnnouncement

Too shallow, although I think that MyHappyDogShiner is probably on the right track.

Having used the words Lead Keel Ballast, some shapes which could be familial to the shape of this object, came up. And the more I think about it, the more sure I am that this item is made of lead.

I think MrHappyDogShiner may have nailed it this time! Congrats and saluations to that member!

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 11:06 AM
a reply to: CagliostroTheGreat

There is nothing sad about that CagliostroTheGreat.

Nothing at all. You want a lock part identifying, thats my bag. You want aircraft parts looked over, go see Zaphod. You want games and toys figured out? We come to you.

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 11:07 AM
first thought would be something like a securing peg for some shore defenses perhaps long gone.

During the war as there any sort of defenses set up around that way? could just be a small stake to ensure a line of barbed wire etc?

looks like its weathered on one side more than the other so it must of been stationary for a good while, perhaps a local history group/museum will probably go oh its a .... and open a box full of the the things.

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 11:19 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

It seems like it´s a sacrifical anode for boats so they don´t rust.
I bet it´s magnesium.
Chip a small peck away and light it on fire with a torch (high degree). Could take some time.
If it lights up don´t look into the blue flame, use protection googles for welding.
I hope you read this before doing it because you won´t be able to extingush the fire. Then you know it´s magnesium.

On smaller boats you have the "standing out" version because they are made out of wood or epoxy and the anode only has to protect minor parts. Looks like one! =788#tbm=isch&q=sacrificial+anode+ship+boat

edit on 25-7-2016 by verschickter because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 25 2016 @ 11:20 AM
a reply to: verschickter

I doubt very much that this is magnesium, or any alloy thereof. It is FAR too heavy, and excess of weight is not something magnesium is known for.

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