A grain farmer from Oklahoma, USA, was reunited with his iPhone after it went on a nine-month trip that ended in Ibaraki Prefecture.

If you’ve even seen a glove placed on top of a wall by a sidewalk, or an umbrella hung up on a tree in Japan, this kind of consideration won’t surprise you. People here are well-known for small acts of thoughtfulness like this. But the distances and the time frame involved probably will. A farmer from Chickasha, Oklahoma, Kevin Whitney, figured that he had seen the last of his phone when he dropped it into a grain pit. After all, any chances he had of finding it vanished when he saw that the load of sorghum grain that the phone had fallen into pour into a bin filled with 280,000 pounds (about 127,000 kg.) of the stuff.

After picking up its high-tech enrichment, the grain load headed out of Chickasha, down the Mississippi River to the state of Louisiana, and caught a boat that went through the Panama Canal, eventually making its way to the port of Kashima in Ibaraki. Mill workers in Kashima found the iPhone as they were going through the 2 million bushels of grain.

The grain farmer probably thought that his family photos were lost until he received a call from a Japanese mill worker who was able to get his contact information from the phone once he had charged it back up. (This might be one of the only times when it’s good to not put a password lock on your phone!) Once the worker confirmed that he had the right Whitney, he sent the iPhone to Louisiana, where it was passed along back to the farmer in Oklahoma.

Kevin Whitney explained, “It’s crazy, I can’t believe it. What really shocked me about it all was when I first got the phone call was what a small world it is. There are a lot of meaningful pictures on it, so we were real glad to get the phone back.”

–Alec Jordan

Image: Screen shot from KSHB broadcast