People are undeniably spending more time on the internet during the pandemic. But Twitter user @TeacherUfo never would have thought that one day, his regular online surfing would give him a moment to treasure forever.
On Jan. 4, 2021, the Japan-based netizen shared a tear-jerking post on how he accidentally found an image of his father, who died seven years ago, on Google Earth.
More than that, he saw his father standing outside their house, waiting for his mother to arrive home.
コロナでやる事ないからGoogleEarthで実家見に行ったら7年前に死んだ親父が写ってた。その先に人が居たから見に行ったら母ちゃんだった。一服しながら奥さんの帰りを待ってたんだな。無口だけど優しい親父だった。このままこの場所の写真更新しないで欲しいな。 pic.twitter.com/PXxBICAxmz— タムチンキ (@TeacherUfo) January 4, 2021
“I decided to search for my parents’ house on Google Earth because I had nothing to do due to the pandemic,” he wrote in his post.
“I saw my father who had passed away 7 years ago. I then zoomed past him and saw my mom on her way home. My father must have been waiting for my mother to return home,” he said.
“My father was a quiet but kind man,” he added. “I hope that Google Earth doesn’t update the photo for this place.”
His post has earned over 696,000 likes on Twitter, prompting others to share their own heartwarming Google Earth memorials on the thread.
Twitter user @TacHi19505968 said that she likewise found her grandfather returning home with her deceased grandmother “after working in the field.”
“She passed away last year,” she said on the thread. “I’m grateful to see my grandmother in this form.”
写真忘れてしまいました( ˊᵕˋ ;)💦— [email protected] (@TacHi19505968) January 5, 2021
Twitter user @shiumeko uploaded a picture of their old dog taken from their old home.
“I also saw my dog who has passed away due to old age while I was searching for my home on Google Earth last year. I was happy when I saw him. I also hope this photo doesn’t change,” the user said.
私も一昨年老衰で亡くなってしまった犬が家で写りこんでいて見る度にまた会えたみたいで嬉しくなります。この写真のまま変わらなければいいなぁ pic.twitter.com/S53hOQTNW7— ぽこた (@shiumeko) January 5, 2021
Google Earth allows people to go on a virtual tour around the earth in aerial and 3D view. The images you see on the browser are collected over time from providers and platforms.
Google Earth updates its browser once a month, but not all images are included. The average map data, as stated on the Google Earth blog, is between one and three years old.
Aside from these Japanese netizens, people from other parts of the world have been using Google Earth to reconnect with their dearly departed.
A Twitter user by the name of Jactie revealed using the online program to keep her from missing her late grandfather.
“Same thing with my abuelo we can see him just relaxing outside our house in Mexico. Every time I miss him, especially during this time, I always go back to it,” she wrote on her tweet on Jan. 9, 2020.
Same thing with my abuelo we can see him just relaxing outside our house in Mexico. Everytime I miss him especially during this time I always go back to it 🥺❤ pic.twitter.com/sHeOb9g7s2— 𝕵 𝖆 𝖈 𝖐 𝖎 𝖊 (@aymijacquecita) January 8, 2020
“I randomly googled my grandma’s address once last year when I couldn’t stop thinking of her… this was what I saw I couldn’t stop crying! My grandma was chilling in her front yard… I miss my ole gal!” another netizen tweeted.
I randomly googled my grandma's address once last year when I couldn't stop thinking of her... this was what I saw I couldn't stop crying! My grandma was chilling in her front yard... I miss my ole gal! ❤ pic.twitter.com/1ytDswHDIO— Kizzi J. (@KizziRock_) January 9, 2020