Mining Artifact


Teams went behind a church where they found a maze of rocks. In the center of the maze, they received a small cannister which contained a mining artifact, created by a 3D printer. This puzzle cannot currently be solved online, but we have included the 3D printer .stl file


Bush Hill Presbyterian Church
4916 Franconia Road Alexandria, VA 22310

Teams were directed to this location with the following in-app flavor text:

It's getting late. You're tired, you've been through so much, and you're not sure how much more you can take. Despite this, though, you're in surprisingly high spirits. Who would've thought you would make it this far, relatively unscathed? Only about a quarter of the teams remain and you're in a pretty good position to keep going strong. Maybe you'll survive this yet.

Flavor Text

This puzzle was presented with the following in-app flavor text:

You've unearthed a strange artifact that looks like a lump of coal. Was this left by another team, or is it a clue of some sort?

Puzzle Files

The following files are required to solve this puzzle:


  • Click to reveal Hint #1

    The correct orientation of the artifact should be with the DECRYPT US message facing you right side up.

  • Click to reveal Hint #2

    You don't need to measure anything, such as the depths of the various tunnels. However the number of tunnels on each side is significant.

  • Click to reveal Hint #3

    How are you going to solve this fracking puzzle? Well, the message DECRYPT US is self-referential. Can you match up those letters to holes on the top of the artifact?

  • Click to reveal Hint #4

    The bottom of the puzzle will generate your answer. How can DECRYPT US on the top possibly generate a different answer out the bottom?

  • Click to reveal Hint #5

    You should have a small piece of equipment that may help you decode the message.

  • Click to reveal Hint #6

    Squirt water through holes and see where it comes out on the other side. This should give you a letter to letter translation.


  • Click to reveal the solution to this puzzle

    block lung

Post-Solve Video

Upon solving this puzzle, teams were shown the following video:


  • Todd Etter