April 7 was not just another ordinary day for the potato pickers at the Mr.Chips factory in New Zealand. After they picked up what they believed to be a weirdly shaped muddy potato off the conveyor belt, they were shocked to discover that it was not a potato at all! Instead, it was a hand grenade from World War II! So, how did this all go down, and was anyone harmed? Here's the fascinating story.
After twenty-eight tons of potatoes arrived from a Matamata farm, the Mr.Chips employees in East Tamaki got to work on sorting them. One employee named Richard Teurukura was observing the line of potatoes when they picked out the peculiar-looking potato. Expecting to remove the mud and discover a stone, he took the result to his colleague. Sure enough, it didn't take long before the mysterious object was recognized as a grenade. The factory's manager, Roland Spitaels, spoke to Stuff.co.nz. "It looked very much like a muddy potato originally. The guys were really calm and collected, and they reacted in an extremely professional manner."
Understandably, police were immediately called to the site, who then, in turn, called the New Zealand Defense Force's explosive ordnance disposal squad. These experts examined the grenade and identified it as a Mills bomb, a hand grenade used by many countries during the second world war. After further tests were carried out, an X-Ray determined the weapon to be non-explosive. It was likely to have been used for training soldiers during its time.
So, what's next for the Mr.Chips factory? Apart from likely being extra cautious when handling weirdly shaped potatoes that come their way, the employees are hoping their historic discovery will be returned to them after the conclusion of the police tests. Why's this? Well, they are hoping to show it off in their "factory room." Stay tuned while this remarkable story continues to develop.