How could he not notice this?!
A man in China got the surprise of his life when he realized that his kitchen utensil was actually a very deadly weapon. Mr. Ran, who hails from Ankang in China’s Shaanxi province, had been using what he thought was a simple nut cracker to whack open walnuts for the past 25 years. According to Ran, a friend gave him the object sometime in the ’80s… but little did he know, he was playing with fire.
Recently, the local police handed out a brochure that showcased some weapons that it is illegal to own. Mr. Ran noticed that one such object on the brochure looked strikingly similar to his walnut cracker.
The thing that he had been bashing against nuts was in fact a Chinese Type 67 defensive hand grenade. It was called a stick grenade because of its shaft-like shape, and the British called it a “potato masher.” This particular grenade works by pulling a string concealed by a screw-on cap on one end to ignite the explosive device inside. The Type 67 was invented by the German Army during World War I, and was the standard issue grenade of the time, and they continued to be made in China throughout the 20th century.
There’s no telling how the grenade ended up in the hands of Mr. Ran’s buddy, but he was pretty shocked to have this explosive device in his house. Mr. Ran took it to the police who decided that they wouldn’t charge him for having the illegal device.
Some researchers thought that it never exploded while in Ran’s care because it might have been a training grenade, though those are usually marked with some kind of indicator.
Abandoned weapons of war are still a threat in some Asian and African countries, but there are organizations and everyday citizens trying to find them and deactivate them to avoid accidental death. GAnti-Personnel Landmines Detection Product Development has been training African giant pouched rats to sniff out old land mines and even tuberculosis. Once they complete their training, the HeroRATS are adopted by people who walk them around their villages to find the potentially deadly explosives. They’re perfect for the job because they’re too light to set off landmines.
In China, weapon ownership is taken very seriously. Most citizens aren’t allowed to have any firearms unless they have a hunting permit. Owning an illegal weapon, like the old grenade that Mr. Ran was somehow in possession of, can lead to years in prison or even death.
The laws on weapon ownership aren’t so stringent in America, but people were frightened when Anthony Shepard found a live grenade with his metal detector on the banks of the Ohio River in early 2017. Air Force Brigadier General Rob Givens said about the find, “When I saw the picture of the device I realized it was, indeed, a live grenade so was quite shocked. Even though it appears to be from a bygone time, perhaps from as far back as the Second World War – those things still do go off.”
Do you use some strange device as a nut cracker too? Let us know how you do it in the comments and SHARE this story!