A mother and daughter in Deal, Kent had a lucky escape after a suspected fossil they had found on the beach at Sandown turned out to be a smoke grenade.
On returning the item home the grenade began to emit white smoke and set alight, indicating a white phosphorus filling. Fortunately, the mother was able to move the grenade to the kitchen sink where it burned itself out, although not before it had caused considerable damage.
It is likely that the grenade was washed up during recent storms. White phosphorus is extremely combustible when exposed to air, even after many years submerged. It has historically been used as a filling for smoke grenades.