AUCKLAND — Were you in New Zealand over a year ago, using a blue kayak and snapping pics of sea lions along Catlins Coast? If so, the photos that you took while on vacation have been put through the wringer – literally.
A USB thumb drive has been discovered by marine researchers in a frozen pile of leopard seal feces, which had been stored in a freezer at the New Zealand National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) for over a year. The stool sample was being used to obtain vital information about what the animals eat and their overall health.
NIWA is searching for the owner of a USB stick found in the poo of a leopard seal…
Recognise this video? Scientists analysing the scat of leopard seals have come across an unexpected discovery – a USB stick full of photos & still in working order! https://t.co/2SZVkm5az4 pic.twitter.com/JLEC8vuHH0
— NIWA (@niwa_nz) February 5, 2019
Volunteer Jodie Warren had the (unfortunate) task of sifting through the scat a few weeks ago when she discovered the small USB stick among its contents. But even more remarkable, the thumb drive still worked!
After plugging the device into a computer, researchers found a series of photos and a video taken by an unknown traveller. The only clue as to the traveller’s identity? A blue kayak and a pair of red shoes captured in some of the shots.
NIWA is hoping to return the USB stick to its rightful owner, and is turning to social media for help. If you know who it is, it’s probably best not to tell them what the stick went ‘through’ to be returned.