Smartphone recovered from lake bottom still works more than a year later


Anyone who’s spilt water on their phone or—god forbid—dropped it in the toilet knows what a life-saver a little rice can be. Even so, most wouldn’t attempt to revive a phone if it was buried at the bottom of a lake, and certainly not a year later.

But when Daniel Kalgren, a mechanical engineer from western Pennsylvania, found an iPhone under six inches of mud and clay, he did exactly that.

According to reports, he was treasure hunting along the bottom of Kyle Lake in October when he stumbled across the phone. The lake had been drained more than a year earlier due to structural deficiencies with its dam.

“I took the phone home, cleaned it, and put it in rice—just out of curiosity to see if it would still work,” he told Buzzfeed News.

Photo by Daniel Kalgren

When it turned on, Kalgren managed to retrieve the original owner’s information and get in touch.

Naturally, Michael Guntrum was shocked when he received a picture of his old phone from a stranger, who asked if it looked familiar. Guntrum said he recognized the phone based on the screensaver.

The last time he’d seen it was March 2015, when he and two buddies went ice fishing.

“We were sitting in our portable shanty, and I got a bite on my rod. I laid the phone on my lap, and it slipped off. Instead of landing flat in the snow, it hit its edge and rolled into the hole,” Guntrum told Buzzfeed. “I caught the fish—it was a blue gill—but it wasn’t worth it.”

He never thought he’d see the phone again, but according to reports, Kalgren is sending it back to him in the mail. Once he receives it, Guntrum plans on getting it repaired and giving it to his mom, who he says needs a new phone.