We’ve seen plenty of unbelievable iPhone survival stories over the years. The seemingly indestructible gadgets (except when you drop them from a foot off the ground, of course) have been making it alive out of the craziest of places, and the stories keep coming.

Another one took a harmless 82-day swim in the Pacific Ocean, while YouTuber Dallas recovered a pricey iPhone X hiding out for three weeks at the bottom of a murky river.

Apple has regularly come under fire for adamantly refusing to provide coverage for water damage in its insurance policies, but it may well have good reason. Although none of its phones are marketed as truly “waterproof,” their high IPX ratings as of late, coupled with an unrelenting resilience to the elements, have given them quite a reputation. Kudos to Apple, as it seems you’d really have to waterboard your iPhone rather violently to actually water damage it and need repair coverage. 

We’ve got another such crazy iPhone survival story, this time coming from Taiwan News thanks to a lucky owner named Chen. Chen had been having the time of his life paddleboarding on Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan at just about this time last year. As difficult as paddleboarding is, Chen took quite a few tumbles, but brushed himself off and climbed back up on the board every time.

He had his brand new iPhone 11 Pro Max 512GB with him, which costs well over a thousand dollars. Thinking he’d keep it safe, Chen had it in one of those little waterproof bags you can get for 5$ and hang around your neck. The problem is, while the bag may perform, their ties aren’t always very secure. I myself was testing one of them and the string clasp came undone in my hand while I was toying around with it at home.

After a few tumbles off his board, Chen suddenly felt the string around his neck suspiciously light. It was then he realized the bag had become detached, and plummeted into the 89-foot deep waters of Sun Moon Lake. 

Many iPhone waterproof bags on Amazon are rated for 49-foot max depth at most. With the lake’s average depth in mind, and simply from looking at the photos, a reasonable amount of dirt and likely made their way into the muddy-looking clasp, and most certainly got to the iPhone while it sat at the bottom for a full year. The iPhone 11 Pro Max itself has an IP68 rating, meaning it can survive submersion up to 4 meters for 30 minutes. 

While most people would probably have shrieked and wrung their hands in despair, and left the phone to rot in its watery grave, Chen had a surprisingly positive outlook. He commented to his wife that someone might chance upon his iPhone floating in the lake, and his friend told him, “Rest assured, you’ll see your [iPhone] again in a year.”

Chen is one of the fortunate ones and his friend’s prediction came true: exactly a year later, a severe drought dried up the lakebed to such an extent that his iPhone was found on the dry rocks, and returned to him—working good as new. Chen was so thrilled that he couldn’t sleep for days, he said. 

The Apple gods must have been looking out for him, because that part of the lakebed hadn’t seen the light of day in 50-60 years. Soon after the phone was discovered, the waters of Sun Moon Lake began to rise again. 

That’s one lucky man in our books.

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