Sporadically featured OpenCaching Network cache: Der Laputische Gruß

The observant reader might note we’ve had a few Sporadically featured OCNA caches on the blog, but the title of this post references the OpenCaching Network. That is because this strange cache, although it’s posted coordinates are in the USA, is actually listed on sister site www.opencaching.de. We have mentioned in the past that Opencaching.de is by far the world’s second largest Geocaching listing site, and actually has listings in over 40 Countries, mainly placed by German cachers traveling abroad. There are currently 7 caches listed in the United States, including a virtual at Disneyland.

Gulliver and Laputa
19th Century depiction of Gulliver and Laputa

The cache name is in German, of course, and translates to “The Laputian Salute”. Laputa is a floating Island, approximately 4.5 miles in diameter, from the 1726 novel Gulliver’s Travels by Johnathan Swift. (The book is in the public domain, and the link takes you to a free downloads page). The residents of Laputa were gifted in Math, The Sciences and Music. They were a rather strange bunch, but you can read about that yourself, this is a Geocaching Blog, after all! This cache is actually a Locationless Cache, and one with a very strange logging requirement, where you have to figure out what a Laputian Salute is, and render the Salute to the last finder of the cache. You do this by projecting a Waypoint 2 miles and 500 Metres from your home coordinates in the direction of the last finder, going to that location, and rendering the salute, with photo proof, of course. Alternatively, (for privacy reasons, I imagine) you can project the waypoint from the nearest bakery to your home, of all places. Just when you thought this cache and the circumstances behind people finding it couldn’t get any stranger, it does…..

The cache was hidden on December 2, 2005, by OCDE username Laputischer Freiheitskämpfer, which translates to Laputian Freedom Fighters. This cache owner hid only this cache on OpenCaching.de, and found never found any. We can only speculate they were an experienced Geocacher who mainly used Geocaching.com, and posted their cache on OpenCaching.de because Geocaching.com hadn’t allowed locationless caches since early 2003. We mentioned the posted coordinates for the cache, were in the United States. The first cacher has to start somewhere, so the cache owner apparently thought it would be interesting if the first finder rendered the Laputian Salute outside The White House in Washington, D.C.!

The cache sat with no log entries for over 8 months until Batona, a well known user of Alternative Geocaching websites from New Jersey, saw the cache, and apparently rendered the Laputian Salute outside the White House. Google research shows him asking if anyone knew what a Laputian Salute was in a GPSGames.org forum, and being given a link to what it was by another poster to that forum (link is long since gone from the Internet). However, it appears he thought he still had to project a waypoint 2 miles and 500 Metres from home to claim the cache, so he only posted a note, not a find.

Locationless Geocache
DG rendering the salute

Fast forward 6 years to 2012, and the Der Laputische Gruß cache still hadn’t been logged as found. And with good reason, no one knew what a Laputian Salute was. Google was of no help. Batona chose to post his picture of his salute on his personal blog, which was long gone from the internet. The link he was given on the GPSgames.org forum in 2006 was dead, as was the link for “more information on the free republic of Laputa” that you can see on the cache page. By the way, we strongly discourage visiting that link, as the laputa.de domain is expired, and you’ll get pop-up ads in it’s place. Additionally, the cache owner probably hadn’t visited OpenCaching.de since shortly after the cache was listed, and could not be contacted. So along comes OCNA Admin Dudley Grunt, who saw the cache on our OCNA Cache Maps, as caches from other OpenCaching Nodes do show up on our maps. He proceed to “ask around Facebook” (not just amongst Geocachers) if anyone knew what a Laputian salute was. Eventually, he got what he felt was enough of consensus from different people on the matter, and he went out and rendered the salute and claimed FTF on July 27th, 2012. The cache has since been found a total of 4 times.

Certainly not a cache for everyone, as there are a number of cachers out there who don’t like “additional logging requirements” as they’re called. And Locationless caches are ancient history to the overwhelming majority of the Geocaching populace (unless you’re a regular user of fellow alternative Geocaching website Terracaching.com), as all existing ones on Geocaching.com were locked down forever on January 3rd, 2006. But if you’re looking for a unique Geocaching experience, you’ve found it with Der Laputische Gruß! Feel free to sign up for our sister site opencaching.de and give this one a try. Click the British flag at the top of their site for the English version.

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