After 12 months on lake bottom, iPhone needed recharging

For once, you can’t blame Canada.

From AppleInsider’s “iPhone recovered from Taiwan lake after biggest drought in 50 years” posted Sunday:

In March 2020, a man identified on the Bao Fei 1 Commune Facebook Group as “Chen” lost his iPhone 11 Pro Max while paddling in Sun Moon Lake, in Taiwan. The man wore the iPhone in a plastic waterproof pouch around his neck but lost it after falling into the water multiple times…

In early April, Chen was informed that his iPhone had been found. The lake had dried up enough that the iPhone and pouch were easily visible on the dried lakebed.

Enduring what is believed to have been the worst drought in Taiwan for over 50 years, it was a rare occasion for the lake to dry up enough to see the iPhone in its found location. Local residents advised the man that the water hadn’t fully receded in between 50 and 60 years.

While the waterproof pouch was heavily soiled, the iPhone itself was seemingly perfectly intact. After recharging it, Chen said all of the iPhone’s functions were normal…

Shortly after Chen reacquired the iPhone, the water returned to the lake.

My take: Who remembers the story of “The Five Chinese Brothers”? One had the power to swallow the sea, exposing fish, strange pebbles and lost treasure. He tried to warn a foolish, greedy boy that he could’t hold the water forever.

apple taiwanese lake iphone


  1. Ken Cheng said:
    To be fair, the credit should go to the dry bag, which protected the iPhone. Should have kept a little air in the bag, so it would float.

    April 11, 2021
  2. Kirk DeBernardi said:
    I remember.

    “The Five Chinese Brothers” was one of my favorite books from my grade school days and one of the very few I still remember.


    April 11, 2021
  3. Ralph McDarmont said:
    I missed the brothers story. I’ll blame my schools. But underwater iPhones stories are common and amazing. Apparently Apple engineering provided and provides far more than imagined. Apple never stops at meeting specifications; the company always surpasses those specs. And as a fanboy I must say AAPL has surpassed my investor goals for 20 years.

    April 11, 2021
  4. Michael Goldfeder said:
    Has anyone ever read an article about an Android surviving a drop into a lake? Either nobody bothers to retrieve them as they know it’s a waste of time, or they’re more fragile than an egg and DOA.

    April 11, 2021
  5. Bart Yee said:
    A somewhat different angle on this situation is the relatively warm temperatures the iPhone was exposed to, likely including above normal daytime temps with the lake and mud in day sunlight and drought conditions. This is potentially much more injurious to batteries than much cooler Canadian waters with direct contact to the iPhone. Yes, the bag / pouch was very helpful to prevent direct water ingress too.

    April 12, 2021

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