When are Oklahoma’s salt plains more exciting than “¦ well, a lot of dusty, dry dirt piles?
When they rise up and bite you back!
Maybe Bucky’s getting carried away. But a Boy Scout got a mysterious surprise recently when he was digging for selenite crystals in the northwest Salt Plains National Wildlife Refuge.
Instead of the mildly interesting translucent crystals, a form of gypsum commonly found in the salty dirt there, he unearthed a vial of yellow liquid, according to The Enid News & Eagle.
Then, accidentally broke it! The substance made him cough, his eyes tear and burn.
“It was pungent enough to make him run away from it,” said refuge manager John Brock, according to the Eagle.
Shades of Superman! Could it have been “¦ Scoutinite?
(Lest, gentle reader, you think Bucky is funning too far, the boy appears to be fine, according to the story.)
Officials following up on his find dug out as many as 10 of the 6- to 7-inch glass vials.
“We didn’t know what we were dealing with so we backed out,” Brock said. “My worse concern is that there may be something else buried out there.”
Something Else, indeed: Authorities closed the public digging area indefinitely, canceling a bevy of activities until the windswept landscape could be declared safe. They posted a guard, with the Army’s 22nd Chemical Battalion en route to ID and “neutralize” the substance, according to a Department of Defense spokeswoman, in the story.
Neutralize? Department of Defense? And you just thought CFN was being silly!
Although the seemingly innocuous area became a wildlife refuge and bird breeding ground in 1930, it was used in the Forties as a practice bombing range, according to the Eagle. While there’s no indication the area was a chemical weapons testing or storage site, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official said authorities think the vials were produced by ” dun-dun-DUN! ” the military.
Lex Luthor sounds kinda good, now, eh?