This makes stepping on a jellyfish seem like no big deal: A beachgoer found a mysterious cylindrical hunk of sea-worn metal washed up on the shore at St. Pete Beach, Florida. It turned out to be a barnacle-covered M122 photoflash bomb from World War II, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Pinellas County sheriff’s deputies visited the scene and described the object as about four feet long, with a cone shaped cap on one side. They said the object “appeared to have been submerged for a significant period of time.”
After evacuating the beach and surrounding houses, a bomb squad from MacDill Air Force Base set off the weapon.
A bomb found on a Florida beach Sunday had to be detonated before authorities could remove it SUN0132 pic.twitter.com/S1FHIIVass
— CBS Newspath (@cbsnewspath) July 19, 2015
— Matthew Apthorp (@Matthew_Apthorp) July 19, 2015
Photoflash bombs were designed to emit very bright flashes of light once dropped from an aircraft, to help the military with nighttime ariel photography. They’re not used by the military anymore.
The unplanned vintage weapons demo attracted a crowd of curious onlookers. M122 photoflash bombers were filled with photoflash power to take pictures — not to blow people up — so as far as ominous military weaponry goes, it wasn’t the worst thing that could wash up on shore.
Screenshot of video via Fox News