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Take a Peek at the Piece of American History Hiding in Antarctica

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"...when I seen this photo I counted the stars and seen there was only 48..."

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Antarctica is known for its bitter cold, penguins and... hidden bits of American history?

Reddit user espionage101 shared photos received from a friend working in Antarctica who had discovered an "American capsule" amid the rocks and ice.

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"My mates an Aussie, he's been down there working at casey station for 10 months out of a 12 month contract," espionage101 explained.

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Inside the capsule, espionage101's friend found a U.S. claim to Antarctic land, signed by Navy Lt. Commander Charles Browning and dated January 14, 1948.

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Also included was an American flag decked out with 48 stars instead of the current 50.

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It seems likely the capsule is related to Operation Highjump, a U.S. Navy expedition around the Antarctic following World War II.

Espionage101 said his friend likely didn't profit from his find.

"From what I know, he's put everything back where he found it and I doubt he'd be looking to profit from anything," espioange101 wrote.

As it turned out, espionage101's friend was not the first Aussie to dig up the capsule; the Australian base at Casey Station keeps the original American claim to the land, while the laminated copy espionage101's friend pulled out of the capsule is a replacement left there as an historical record, the Reddit user said.

It may not have been a groundbreaking discovery, but it still provided an authentic glimpse into the past — which is exactly why the pictures were posted online in the first place.

"The only reason I even posted [the pictures] was because I remembered a ["Today I Learned" post], last week I think it was, where it was stated that the American flag only had 48 stars up until 1960," espionage101 wrote. "So when I seen this photo I counted the stars and seen there was only 48, huffed to myself and thought 'd*** straight I can [R]eddit.'"

The original picture of the grinning Australian holding a piece of Antarctic American history had been up-voted more than 4,000 times as of Monday evening.

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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