Two boys magnet fishing in a southern Finland lake reeled in something entirely unexpected: a rusty old hand grenade.

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Lari Tammivuori and Viljami Juutilainen of Lahti said they were using their magnet fishing kit to search for metal objects in Lake Vesijarvi on Thursday when they pulled up an unusual object.

"Usually we get bottle caps and nails. Then it came. I didn't realise right away that it was a hand grenade," Juutilainen told YLE.

The boys carried the object back to shore with their hands, but quickly set it down and backed away when they started to suspect it was an explosive device.

The boys brought Juutilainen's mother, Maarit, to come look at the mysterious item.

"It was old-fashioned looking and pretty rusty. I said it could be a grenade. His aunt is a police officer so I sent her a few pictures [of the grenade]. We were given clear instructions to step away from it and wait for police to arrive," Maarit Juutilainen said.

Police cordoned off the area and a Defense Forces team was summoned to take the object away. Officials confirmed it was an explosive device, but did not disclose how old the object was or whether it still was live.

A Michigan man magnet fishing in the Grand River in November 2019 made a similarly startling discovery when he pulled up a German grenade from the World War I era.

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The Grand Rapids Police Department said the object, a German Granatenwerfer mortar, was unlikely to still be dangerous, but officers destroyed it in a controlled explosion as a precaution.