Searching a beach for lost treasure can seem like a fool’s errand these days, considering how rare it is to find anything of value. But one group of schoolchildren in Taiwan recently discovered something absolutely amazing buried in the sand and proved all the odds wrong. While the small box they found was covered in barnacles from a long stay at sea, it was inside the box that was truly incredible.
Serina Tsubakihara was scuba diving off the coast of Ishigaki, an island near Okinawa, Japan in September of 2012 when she dropped her Canon G12 in a waterproof case. She tried to get the camera back, but wasn’t able to as it bobbed out of her reach.
One of the Japanese student’s friends apparently ran out of air deep underwater and needed to go up. In their rush, the camera disappeared forever – or so she thought.
The Mount Elementary School class was tasked with cleaning up a nearby beach in Taiwan, when they came across the bizarre case, which had become one with the ocean in the years in had been missing.
They cracked open the case and found that not only did the camera still work, it somehow still had battery power! Park Lee, the teacher of the class, wasn’t sure what to do about the camera or the pictures that they could potentially find inside. But his concerns about the ethics of the situation were overcome by his curiosity to find the original owner, and so he posted the pictures online along with a small description.
In another case of internet miracles, it took barely more than a day to find the original owner of the miracle camera. The photos included many different images of Ms. Tsubakihara diving, playing with dolphins and having a blast with her friends and the memory card was perfectly preserved along with the rest of the camera.
“I am so lucky to have such a wonderful experience to feel the kindness of people… I never thought this would happen, but it’s still a wonder,” the young Japanese woman said according to Daily Mail. “Thank you so much for every single person who was involved with this.”
Take a look at this graphic from the Daily Mail that shows the camera’s amazing journey.
Serina has been studying English for three years and now plans to visit Taiwan to meet with Mr. Park and all of the students involved in this amazing discovery. The camera traveled around 155 miles on it’s journey from Japan to Taiwan, pushed along by the ocean’s relentless waves.
That someone managed to find the camera, post it online and identify the owner in 30 hours is truly a miracle that can only be explained by the true power of the internet. It has connected us globally in ways that we never could have imagined and changed the world from the moment we first got online. It all worked out in the end and Serina will soon have her long-lost camera back, safe and sound.
Have you ever found anything interesting or incredible on the beach or in the wild? Share your most unlikely discovery in the comments!