Memories made of this: USB stick found in frozen seal poo

Science

(Reuters) – Scientists in New Zealand say they have found a USB memory stick containing holiday photos inside a frozen slab of seal poo.

The scat, valuable for studying the health of leopard seals, had been stored in a freezer for a year before it was thawed out for analysis, the researchers said.

“Concealed deep inside the scat was a USB stick,” the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said on its website.

The stick was in good condition, “considering where it had come from”, and the researchers let it dry out for a few weeks.

It contained photos of sealions at Porpoise Bay, on New Zealand’s South Island, and a video of a mother sealion and her baby frolicking in shallow waters.

“The only clue to who might have taken them is the nose of a blue kayak,” NIWA said, adding that the return of the USB stick comes with a price.

“The leopard seal researchers would like some more leopard seal scat please.”

Reporting by Darren Schuettler; editing by Nick Macfie

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