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Man drops phone in the Charles, jumps in, finds 11 other phones, now he's trying to find their owners

A couple of the startup screens on found phones

Look familiar?

In the Lost & Found Cambridge Medford Somerville group on Facebook, Jennifer Abramson reports today:

Any chance you know these people or dogs!?

I went standup paddle boarding last night and my friend lost his phone in the Charles by Kendall. He [gasp] jumped in to try to retrieve it. He came up with ELEVEN phones over several attempts - none his. Some turn on including these…


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Mobile phones die when immersed in water.

Voting closed 13

Most modern versions are now waterproof to something like 20 ft. They don't claim it's for any longer than 30 minutes usually, but there's no reason it couldn't last longer, especially if it powered down relatively quickly.

The immediate problem with water in electronics is getting a short that fries something important. However, anything that shorts it such that the battery is the thing that dies first...and if it's dried well, it should turn on unless corrosion set in already.

Voting closed 38

The ‘notch’ at the top indicates these are newer iPhones which are water resistant.

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contains special phone preserving chemicals.

MIT is currently studying this phenomenon.

(Don't try this at home, kids.)

Voting closed 60

"I went standup paddle boarding last night and my friend lost his phone in the Charles"

I've been standup paddle boarding but … generally that's a great time to leave the phone at home. (Or at very least, put it in a watertight bag tied to something. Wallet, too.)

Given how dry it's been, the Charles hasn't been flushed out the way it might in a wet year, so the water might be particularly murky this year.

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of phones in one small area..

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per square foot are we talkin' here?

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How shallow is it near Kendall?

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to about 15 feet quite quickly, and then levels off. Out in the middle there are some holes that go down to 30 feet. I know this because I have a link to this:


which I originally discovered on UHub.

Voting closed 15

The bottom of the Charles River is composed of three layers. The bottom layer, which varies from a few inches to a few feet in depth, is a mixture of sand, silt, and gravel. The top layer, usually only two or three inches, is a loose mud of decomposed vegetable matter. Between them is a two-foot layer of iPhones. River scientists are still studying this phenomenon.

Voting closed 28

He wants to find the other members of Amalgamated Morons, Boston Chapter.

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1. I echo others' curiosity about the number of phones. Kinda crazy. I really hope the entire Charles is not littered with them to that extent and there's just something weird about that spot that makes it drop-prone.
2. That picture on the left is just unbelievably awesome. Assuming that the dog is Marshall and he's enjoying his 5th birthday, that is one good boy. To quote our own long-lost Elmer: "Adorable!"

Voting closed 16

Some of these are phones found in stolen bags that the thief wanted to get rid of so they wouldn't be tracked.

They might be all in the same spot as that's where the thief tended to throw the purloined goods after grabbing bags out of MIT, etc. They could have battery life as the thief had already powered them down shortly after grabbing the bag.

Voting closed 17

Stolen phones are worth money. You don't even need to wipe it.

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the bottom of the Charles river now something one should dare to touch?

Voting closed 3