Have you ever wished you could visit the home of a dearly departed loved one and see that person standing outside of the house just one more time? For a woman living in Florida, this wish came true—in a sense.
Denise Underhill was working around her home when she was struck by the longing to talk to her late mother, Beryl Turton, on the phone.
Sadly, Turton passed away in 2015. Feeling the need for some sort of connection, Underhill got on Google Earth and searched for her mother’s home in her native Polesworth, England.
Since the house had been sold following her mother’s death, Underhill wanted to see if it still looked the same as she remembered. She searched the road and quickly spotted her mom’s old place.
She was able to recognize it thanks to the tall, slender silver birch tree out front that set it apart from the neighboring houses.
Unexpected Image On Google Earth
Had she only looked at the home straight on, she never would have realized what she missed. However, as she angled her view of the home, an unexpected image astonished her.
Take a look at the video below about this touching story:
There, behind a manicured hedge beside the driveway, stood Underhill’s mother. She can be seen with watering can in hand tending to her garden, as she so often did.
“I was absolutely astounded—it made my day. You never know what photos are being taken but they really do last a lifetime,” Underhill told the Tamworth Herald. “I think someone wanted me to see this.”
Images Updated On Google Earth
According to the date stamp, the image was captured in May 2012. Google does not provide information regarding how often it updates satellite and street view images.
In a 2012 Reddit AMA, a Google StreetView Car driver shared that points of interest are updated more frequently than lesser-viewed areas.
You can use Google’s Follow Your World app to receive alerts when an address or point of interest is updated on Google Maps and Google Earth.
Other Google Earth Stories
After we initially posted this story on Facebook, readers shared their own unique Google Earth coincidences.
Apparently, Google Earth has been doing us all a favor by capturing our deceased relatives, friends and pets on camera.
“Saw my dog in our old yard,” one Facebook commenter wrote. “Since he died five years ago it made me so happy to see him lounging in his usual sunny spot.”
Another reader posted this sweet message: “My dad’s car is parked in the driveway at our house on Google. How I miss him!”
New Way To Remember Loved Ones
Instead of storing your loved one’s ashes in an urn or spreading them in a loved one’s favorite spot, there is a new alternative that is gaining traction—turning the ashes into diamonds.
So how exactly is this possible? One company, Algordanza in Switzerland, explained their process to Business Insider.
When a body is cremated, it leaves behind about five to ten pounds of ashes, much of which is carbon. The carbon is then extracted and purified of contaminants such as salt. The final purification step makes the carbon into sheets of graphite. Depending on the desired size of the diamond, the process to crystallize the graphite into a gem can take about six to eight weeks.
The resulting diamond ranges in color from clear to very deep blue. Boron, an element and micronutrient that helps humans grow bone, heal wounds and regulate the immune system, is responsible for the blue color. The more Boron present, the deeper blue the diamond will appear.
When the diamond is ready, customers can take it as a rough gem. Or they can have it cut, faceted and polished by a jeweler.
So how much will a “memorial diamond” set you back? Algordanza’s prices start at $3,000 for a 0.3 carat diamond. For comparison, the average price of a casket is slightly more than $2,000. This does not include other costs associated with a typical burial. Costs could include things such as embalming fees and use of a funeral home.
Algordanza says the diamond allows people to keep a piece of loved ones with them for the rest of their lives. “It allows someone to keep their loved one with them forever,” Christina Martoia, a spokeswoman for Algordanza US, told Business Insider. “We’re bringing joy out of something that is, for a lot of people, a lot of pain.”