“FOUND: Lost Photos in Zimbabwe.” A real life viral mystery video by Joe Sabia

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“Hey, I found your four year old 2G SD card with thirteen crappy photos on it!”
“Oh. Well, uh, thanks, I guess.”


An SD card with 13 photos on it I can believe. An SD card that has only ever had 13 photos on it, taken in a short span of time in Connecticut, yet later found in Zimbabwe – that’s harder to believe. What if there’s deleted photos on the card?

Yes, undeleting files from an SD card that’s not yours is creepy, but since he’s already made the viral video, called their hot water heater company, and downloaded various photo manipulation utilities, why not?


I have a card I found in Kyoto. The owner was Japanese and it has newborn baby pictures on it. I feel really really bad I can’t even figure out how to begin finding the owners.


Viral just means popular now, doesn’t it?


Jeez, be a little more gentle with those external hard drives.

Seconded. He should give as much care to the photos as the original creator did, and throw them away. Or at least have a little more discrimination in the SD drives he accidentally finds.

Too bad it wasn’t another box of Vivian Maier photos:


Interesting that the card is labeled NIKON D3000 (01:31), but the names of the folders (104CANON, CANONMSC) indicate that the pictures were taken with a Canon camera (01:34). I would actually expect reformatting the card to work in a Canon camera to wipe out the NIKON D3000 name, but apparently that didn’t happen. (In most cases, if you put a card from one camera into a camera from a different maker, the camera will complain that it can’t read the card, and you’ll be forced to reformat the card, which often changes the card name).

The fact that the images are named STA, STB etc. indicates that they were taken in “stitch assist mode”, which is a mode used for creating panoramas: so, for example, STA_0674.JPG, STB_0675.JPG, STC_0676.JPG and STD_0677.JPG should theoretically form a composite picture spanning 4 images. Would putting those together yield any more information?

I believe that Stitch Assist is only found on Canon compacts, so the card probably moved from a prosumer DSLR (the D3000) to a rather smaller camera at some point. The image quality also suggests a fairly low-end camera.


YouTube + BoingBoing, obviously.

Second on the undelete. The card may have wiped the pages but at least give it a try. If it hasn’t been wiped there’s almost certainly plenty more on there.

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