In Guardians of the Galaxy, I couldn't help but notice that
the Infinity Stone
was inside a force field, inside some kind of containment unit. Star-Lord easily extracts the containment orb using some high powered magnet and, later on in the movie, the Collector effortlessly opens the containment unit, revealing the gem within. Why then was this
gem of infinite power
left unguarded on a deserted planet?
There seemed to have been life on the planet at one point (as revealed by Star-Lord's projection equipment), but by the time Star-Lord arrives all signs of life are largely gone, except for the few rats that he kicks. Moreover, the only environmental dangers shown in the movie were huge geysers. Therefore it's safe to say the stone was guarded neither by the environment nor by a society or anything remotely sentient. Since the gem was a source of infinite power, surely someone would've taken it in the time since the prior civilization was destroyed.
The time span was definitely large because the level of destruction on the planet could be caused either by time and natural entropy, or by
another infinity stone...
but not the one already stored in the force field. But even if a separate stone did destroy the planet, there was still enough time between destruction and Star-Lord's arrival for the evolution of primitive rats to occur from a planet that was wiped of all life.
Why was the stone even there when Star-Lord arrived? It was obviously sought after by the Kree/Nova antique dealer so its whereabouts were known. Why did no one else take the stone?