Machine part discovered in 300 million-year old lump of coal

A metal implement which appears to be the toothed rail of a gear shift has been found in a lump of coal which is around 300 million years in age.

The Huffington Post reports that a resident of the Far Eastern Russian city of Vladivostok named Dmitry found the the perplexing metal object in a lump of coal he had purchased to heat his home during the region's frigid winter.

The presence of a metallic rod in the coal prompted Dmitry to contact local scientists, who following examination of the object concluded that it could well be a "toothed metal rail, created artificially," akin to similar parts employed in modern microscopes and other electronic devices.

According to Voice of Russia the coal containing the bizarre anachronism originates from the Chernogorodsky mines of the Khakasis, whose coal deposits date to 300 million years ago.

Voice of Russia reports that the composition of the metallic item would also imply artificial origins:

When geologists broke the piece of coal in which the metal object was pressed into and spot-treated it with special chemical agents, it turned out the the metal detail was unusually light and soft. … [It] was found to be composed of 98 percent aluminum and 2 percent magnesium