03 July 2013

Underwater Post offices around the world..


Underwater Post office at Sabah, Malaysia

Ever heard of an underwater post office? A rare phenomenon found in only 5 countries of the world, Malaysia takes pride in hosting one of its first ever underwater post offices in Sabah.

Apparently an old 40 foot wooden cargo ship of a resort on Mataking Island which was a part of Malaysia’s conservation program sank. This old wooden ship thereafter became one of the 5 similar underwater post offices in the world.  The underwater mail box was placed on the front of the wheel house of this cargo ship.


Now an amazing facet unfolds here: you could write or just buy a postcard at the resort’s gift shop and seal your letters  a special water proof plastic postal wrap bag to take it down and  deposited into the box. All your mails shall be collected twice per week. And even before you realise your mail is sent that too in any part of the world.

Also it is fascinating to know that the sunken wooden ship initially was an artificial reef which acted as a catalyst in attracting many tropical reef fishes. As for today, this wreck has a reputation of housing some of the most incredible species from this spectacular island.

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Underwater Post Offices and Mailboxes Around the World

With the proliferation of WiFi and cell phones, does anybody mail postcards anymore ?    there are five underwater mailboxes for you to visit:

  1. Vanuatu Post created the world's first underwater post office. Situated within a marine sanctuary off Hideaway Island, this post office, staffed by a postal employee, can receive mail if you are a visiting diver or snorkeler. The best part? The lines are always short.
  2. On Japan's southeastern coast, there's a mailbox 33 feet beneath the surface of the water -- the deepest mailbox on record. Each day, the contents are collected from the box, which reportedly contains as many as 200 pieces of mail. Conveniently, the group who developed this post office also invented Surumail : edible, squid-flavored postcards.
  3. Malaysia's Reef Dive Resort has set up what it believes to be that country's first underwater mailbox. Any mail sent through this mailbox is sealed inside a plastic bag and postmarked with a special stamp.
  4. St. Thomas, USVI, has an underwater post office inside its Underwater Observatory, which means you can get the "underwater stamp" without getting "underwater wet."
  5. Paradise Island, in the Bahamas, boasts an underwater mailbox adjacent to a spiraling 100-foot tower.

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- Naresh Agarwal



The devastating natural disaster due to Monsoon floods named as Himalayan Tsunami is a very sad incident as it has destroyed buildings, roads, houses and washed away complete villages at places. Various government and private offices have been destroyed in this incident. All the surface communication systems are badly affected as roads, bridges, village paths are washed away at places leaving the crying hills with flow of roaring eye drops streams creating havoc.

The postal system in Uttrakhand is badly affected as mail/post could not be carried and question of delivering does not arise under the circumstances. There are or were (still uncertain) post offices in all major townships/villages of Uttrakhand’s affected area but there could not be any mail carriage to those offices for last two weeks and also all other mail activities are held up. Mr. Abhai Mishra, a veteran philatelist has come with images of some of the affected post offices of the holy hills of Uttrakshi and surroundings on Rainbow Blog afew days back which spoke about the situation then prevailing there. Looking in to further forecast of heavy rains the situation seems to deteriorate further. And under this situation, it is difficult to say that how much time it will take to resume the services which are vastly dependent on major civil reconstruction activities such as roads, rehabilitation of people, local residents and start of normal administrative and functioning of business and trade.

It is presumed that Emergency, Temporary or Mobile post offices might be set up in that area to give service to the people who live in their villages which are at present isolated from the others. Temporary emergency aerial postal routes/services may be opted and adhered to but looking in to the quantity and necessity of distribution of mail. Temporary mail collection, carriage and distribution systems and channels might be developed. Under these circumstances, the private courier services are presumed to be held up completely.

For philatelists, the coming time in Uttrakhand area will produce good collectable postal and philatelic material in form of different mail systems, routes, cancellations, postmarks, stationery etc.. Philatelic fraternities in India too should come up with new innovative philatelic material giving tribute to the people of died and suffered. It will be interesting to watch how the services are rendered in near future before those are resumed properly.

: Naresh Agarwal - email : nareshkumar1992@yahoo.co.in

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