At first they thought it was a bomb, but when Conor McClory and Sophie Curran had the inscription on a silver cylinder they found washed up in Donegal translated, they knew it was safe to open it.
The two surfers had been checking out the waves at Cnoc Fola in west Donegal when they came upon the object among the rocks at a lagoon.
The Russian inscription indicated it was a time capsule and it was dated 2018.
Inside they found an array of letters, photographs and other objects indicating the time capsule had come from a Russian ice-breaking ship which takes tours to the North Pole.
There was a contact among the material for one of the crew members and when Sophie contacted her, she was shocked to hear that the capsule had already been discovered.
Svetlana said they had put the capsule in the ice at the Arctic Circle and did not expect it to be found until many years later when the ice would have melted.
A letter written in English in the capsule also referred to the likelihood that it would be a long time before someone found the time capsule.
The fact that it was washed up almost 4,000 km from where it was placed just over two years ago indicates to Sophie, Conor and Svetlana that the arctic ice is melting at a worrying pace.
Two letters written in Russian found in the container have yet to be translated and when they are Sophie and Conor hope to bring the full story of the capsule together to be displayed in a local museum or bar.