Explorers in Greenland recently located multiple tin cans containing preserved rations of food that were apparently left behind by a prior expedition about 60 years ago. The explorers from several decades ago most likely left the food along their return route, but they never went back to retrieve it.

The modern day explorers were camping near a lake in northeast Greenland while examining a local cave system. They started to return to their base camp when they noticed a small pile of unopened tin cans that were labeled as “combat ration individual”. They also had dates of “09-55” and “09-60”, indicating that they were several decades old.

The team says that finding the cans was a major surprise. They believe that the food was most likely left behind by an army expedition from the 1960s that was led by military geologist William E. Davies and geological surveyor Daniel B. Krinsley.

The cans were opened to reveal completely preserved crackers, jam, cocoa powder, meatballs and beans. The team brought their discovery back to the camp and sampled all of the food, including the 60 year old meatballs.

Expedition leader Gina Moseley said, “It was funny actually. We had kilograms of porridge back at basecamp, so we were eating a lot of it, just dried milk powder and porridge. It was nice, but we were thinking ‘some jam would be really nice right now.’”

Explorers have been known to find preserved relics in extremely cold and dry regions of the world.

Earlier this year, while huts in Antarctica from the early 1900s were being restored for historic purposes, workers located old newspapers, tins of food and bottles of whiskey. The discoveries most likely date back to the Nimrod Expedition of 1907.

Explorers say that they appreciate such findings. After all, it isn’t every day you get to taste something that was made decades ago.

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