A MYSTERIOUS metal cylinder found washed up on a beach is being investigated by the military.
The huge copper-coloured cylinder is confounding locals and officials alike – with some suggesting it could have plummeted 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.
Police are now working with the Australian Defence Force to unravel the nature of the 2-metre tall cylinder – with theories abounding as to its identity.
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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But officials dismissed the theory, saying it "appears the object did not originate from a commercial aircraft".
While the Australian Space Agency suggested the metal hunk "could be from a foreign space launch vehicle".
The agency said they were "liaising" with other space organisations worldwide to decipher the object – as online pundits claimed the cylinder may have ripped off an Indian rocket.
And according to The Guardian, space archaeologist Dr Alice Gorman believes the find is a fuel cylinder from India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.
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But authorities have asked people to avoid making any assumptions.
In a statement, Western Australia Police Force urged the public to "refrain from drawing conclusions".
They confirmed officers were "currently guarding" the unidentified item and said it was "being treated as hazardous, until the origin of it can be established".
The force added: "People in the area should keep a safe distance."
It comes after a colossal metal ball discovered on a beach in Japan led to claims of alien activity.
Police closed off the area in Hamamatsu city, Japan, while they investigated the “suspicious” object.
The unidentified metal ball, with a diameter of 1.5 metres, sparked a flurry of speculation on social media – including UFO theories.
Meanwhile, reports this week warned that a European satellite the size of a car is predicted to plunge to earth in a matter of weeks.
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