Serina Tsubakihara was scuba diving in Ishigaki, Japan, in September 2015 when she dropped her camera. Two and a half years later, the camera was discovered by an 11-year-old boy cleaning up a beach in Taiwan, 155 miles away. It still worked. And the photos led the finders back to the owner.
The 11-year-old boy who found the camera was participating in a beach cleanup project with classmates.
When he found it, it was almost completely covered with barnacles, but still recognizable as a camera shape.
Upon investigating the object, the students and the class teacher found that it was a waterproof case for a Canon G12 digital camera.
The case worked remarkably well. It kept the camera safely sealed for the entire 2.5 years it was in the ocean. When the case was opened, the camera turned on right away.
The teacher of the class, Park Lee, took to Facebook to figure out who the camera belonged to.
She posted the photos that were on the digital camera, which included many underwater photos taken while scuba diving.
Lee acknowledged that it may be "a bit unethical" to look at someone else's photos, but she hoped that doing so would lead to finding the owner.
Sure enough, the Facebook post went viral. Tens of thousands of people shared it. Eventually, one Facebook user came across the post and recognized her friend, Serina Tsubakihara, a student at Sophia University in Tokyo.
Serina had used the camera to document her 2015 vacation in Ishigaki.
When most of us only live in a teeny, tiny portion of this massive world, it can be easy to forget that we're all connected. But this story is proof that despite the vastness of the oceans, we may actually be closer than we think.