INTERNET sleuths say they've solved the mystery of a massive metal cylinder washed up on a beach.
The 2m-tall object found on an Australian shore inspired mass speculation – but Reddit detectives say it fell from space.
The object washed ashore in Green Head, Western Australia, and was reported to the police by perplexed beachgoers on Sunday.
It was found lying on its side and appeared damaged, with cables or wires sprouting from its top.
It was swiftly put under investigation by the Western Australia Police Force alongside the country's military – who said the object was "being treated as hazardous".
Some speculated the object was the shredded part of an aircraft – with commentators even suggesting it belonged to vanished flight MH370, which disappeared in 2014.
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Police insisted the cylinder could not have come from a "commercial aircraft" – before online sleuths beat them to a new theory.
On Reddit and Twitter, amateur investigators began suggesting the cylinder belonged to a moon mission.
The theorists argued the startling beach find had actually plunged from the sky – as a fuel cylinder once attached to an Indian Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.
The Australian Space Agency, which was also investigating the discovery, seemed to support the idea – saying it was likely from a "foreign space launch vehicle".
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And according to news.com.au, space archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman also backs the theory.
Dr Gorman told the news site: "When rockets are launched, the fuel tanks drop off and the fuel is expended and generally fall over the ocean, as this one did.
“It looks like it has been on the sea floor for some time, becoming a habitat for marine animals. A storm probably dislodged it, allowing it to be swept to shore.”
The Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle is a rocket launcher designed, manufactured and operated by the Indian Space Research Organisation.
The discovery of the space debris comes as India prepares to shoot another launcher into space.
Meanwhile, police have since designated the object as "safe" and "no risk to the community".
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