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Functional iPhone Resurfaces Underwater Almost a Year After Lake Mendota Loss

In a fascinating incident at Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, an iPhone defied all odds by remaining operational even after being submerged underwater for almost a year. The Four Lakes Scuba Club, known for their regular cleanup dives, stumbled upon the functioning device along with various other items.

The club’s president, Ellen Evans, explained their focus on removing items that pose a threat to the environment, such as plastic bags, cups, bottles, and electronics. While their discoveries often include furniture, bicycles, and stoves, they occasionally come across smartphones that miraculously still work beneath the water’s surface.

“We always attempt to charge the phones we find. Most of the time, they are non-functional, but occasionally, we get surprised,” Evans shared. “In this case, we charged it up, and to our amazement, it turned on.” Subsequently, the club handed over the operational iPhone to the UW-Madison Police Department.

The Police Department’s detective successfully accessed the phone’s contents and identified its owner as Ellie Eisenberg, a recent graduate of UW-Madison. Interestingly, Ellie lost her phone while boating with friends in the summer of 2022.

Assuming she had lost the device forever, Ellie had already replaced it with a new one. Consequently, she was stunned when she received an unexpected call from the UW-Madison Police Department, informing her that her long-lost iPhone was still in working condition.

“When I saw the call from a 608 number, I was taken aback. It was the UW-Madison Police Department, and I thought, ‘Uh oh, this can’t be good’,” Ellie recounted. “I dropped my phone into the lake a whole year ago, from a boat, and I believed it was gone forever. But then I received that call, and here it was.”

Although the specific iPhone model isn’t mentioned in the story, the stainless steel finish indicates it might be an iPhone 12 or 13 Pro. These latest models feature iP68 water and dust resistance, but they aren’t intended to endure nearly a year underwater. Therefore, it’s truly remarkable to discover that some iPhones have the capacity to survive such prolonged submersion.

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