Man finds 2,000-year-old chunk of butter in Irish bog

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jun 14, 2016

A prehistoric, 22-pound chunk of bog butter has been found by turf cutters in Ireland, according to the Irish Times

Jack Conway, from Maghera, County Cavan found the butter last week in County Maeth. The lump of bog butter is believed to be 2,000 years old and apparently smells like a strong cheese. 

Although bog butter is not unusual, the lump has been given to the National Museum, the Irish Times reports. 

According to the Smithsonian Magazine, a 3,000-year-old barrel stuffed with 77 pounds of bog butter was found in 2009. And as recently as 2013, turf cutters found a 5,000-year-old wooden keg containing 100 pounds of butter.

Burying butter in a bog dates back almost 2,000 years, but there are records of bog butter as recently as the 1800s. Atlas Obscura says that people buried butter to preserve it. Butter made thousands of years ago did not contain salt, which means it would spoil quickly. The cool, low oxygen environment of the bog helped to preserve the butter. 

Believe or not, even after hundreds of years, the butter could still be edible.

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