Happy birthday to the discovery of the Coso artifact! It happened near Olancha, California, on this day in 1961!
The Coso artifact is allegedly a 500,000 year-old rock that had a spark plug in the middle of it. Fringe-science enthusiasts have suggested that the artifact constitutes evidence of a prehistoric visit by extraterrestrials, the advanced technology of Atlantis, or a trip into the past by time travelers.
All these theories seem a bit off, though, considering that the spark plug appears to be not just a generic spark plug but specifically a Champion spark plug from the 1920’s. It’s difficult to imagine why even time travelers would be toting around that particular item, and just to make matters even more discouraging, there was actually no reliable way to date the stone, and geologists indicate it could have formed around a foreign object by accretion in mere decades, not millennia.
Too bad. Occam’s razor notwithstanding, it’s fun to imagine aliens, Atlanteans, and/or time travelers cruising around the Pleistocene in Model T’s and A’s. If by any chance it really happened, I hope they had all the other trappings of the Roaring Twenties as well.