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Exhibit on Ocean Pollution Leads to Big Shock for One Woman

German woman spots mixtape she lost 25 years ago—and it still works
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2020 9:40 AM CST
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Stock photo.   (Getty Images/rushay booysen)

(Newser) – If you're in your late 30s or older, you likely remember the unique joy that accompanied creating what we olds call a "mixtape." A German woman is now reliving that elation after she stumbled upon a mixtape she lost 25 years ago while on vacation in Spain. Per the Guardian, Stella Wedell was only 12 in the mid-'90s when the cassette tape she'd recorded off a CD vanished either from Mallorca or the Costa Brava. Fast-forward to last summer, when Wedell wandered into Stockholm's Fotografiska and started looking more closely at the items in Mandy Barker's "Sea of Artifacts" exhibit, which showcased plastic debris recovered from the ocean. Wedell thought one cassette tape looked familiar, as did the track list that accompanied it. "I took a picture of it and compared it with the original CD," she says, per the Sunday Post.

Sure enough, it was a match, except the tape was missing the CD's first two songs—which made perfect sense to Wedell, as she hadn't liked those songs and so didn't include them. Per Sky News, the tape washed up in 2017 on the beach in Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands, and it was soon after picked up by Barker, who was looking for items for her exhibit. She says she let it dry out for 18 months then took it to an audio restorer. Amazingly, it still plays—which isn't the best of news. "The fact it has survived intact shows the durability of plastic and the threat it can pose to the marine environment," Plymouth University researcher Richard Thompson tells the Guardian. The Sunday Post has the tape's track list, with such "oldies" as Shaggy's "Oh Carolina," Soul Asylum's "Runaway Train," and UB40's "(I Can't Help) Falling in Love With You." Wedell will get her tape back after it finishes its exhibit run. (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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