There are, it seems, people out there who may need to be reminded of what an augmented reality game is – it’s a game that takes place in a virtual space overlayed within our real, physical world. That’s how Pokémon Go works, stashing free-range Pokémon, PokéStops and Gyms into locations within our world without them being, y’know, real.
This was apparently not a distinction that two Pokémon Go players near Isla Vista were aware of when they saw an object floating in the ocean that shared the same coloring as the standard Poké Balls used in the franchise. They swam out, collected the thing, only to discover it was a research buoy used to track kelp. Whoops!
The mix-up was shared by a member of the Marine Science Institute at UC Santa Barbara on the edhat Santa Barbara website, where the report included a plea to “Please stop taking our drifters from the ocean!” and a couple of hastily Photoshopped but thematically relevant pictures, which we’ve included for you below. Aren’t we nice.