If you’ve ever lost a camera or piece of equipment on a dive, don’t give up hope. It could turn up anywhere.
That was certainly true three weeks ago, when a researcher from New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research found a USB stick while thawing out leopard seal poop for research.
NIWA is searching for the owner of a USB stick found in the poo of a leopard seal…— NIWA (@niwa_nz) February 5, 2019
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
The team from LeopardSeals.org froze the sample after collecting it for research in November 2017. The researchers sift through the sample to find “bones, feathers, seaweed and other stuff,” volunteer Jodie Warren told the NIWA. But she was upset to find a hard piece of plastic instead instead.
“It is very worrying that these amazing Antarctic animals have plastic like this inside them,” Warren told the NIWA.
The USB memory stick was still functional, allowing the researchers to look through the photos — finding video such as the one above and photos of sea lions at Porpoise Bay in New Zealand’s South Island.
The NIWA posted the video in hopes of finding the photographer, but with one caveat — the researchers would like some help collecting their next batch of samples.