Oil companies drilling Middle Eastern deserts for a new oil reservoir discovered instead what scientists believe may be the reason for two million years of continuous warfare in the area: A trouble magnet.
The magnet, which lies under most of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria, attracts conflicts and strife at an alarming rate. In addition, fluctuations in the force field at the center of the magnet appear to correlate with upsurges of aggression in surrounding regions.
“This could mark a turning point in the roadmap to peace,” says a high ranking government official. “At last we have a sane reason for the contentious atmosphere in these countries.”
While the discovery may clear up the cause of Mid-Eastern turmoil, the solution is less obvious. Neutralizing the magnet will be difficult, if not impossible, given the effect it has on local populations, who fight fiercely to maintain a long-standing tradition of senseless agitation.
Some are also concerned about the threat to local welfare that would arise if the magnet is deactivated. After generations of living in close proximity, many people are addicted to trouble. Sudden disruption of discord could create a social disaster that would overload already struggling mental health organizations.
Experts say any solution will have detractors. They point out the government of North Korea is already upset because of the extensive focus on the Middle Eastern discovery. Korean officials insist they too have a trouble magnet that deserves at least as much attention.