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Turkish Shepherds Found An Ingenious Way To Charge Their Smartphones

Perhaps you’ve felt the particular kind of stress that comes with having a smartphone battery at 4 percent and nowhere to charge it. You’re at the airport trying to arrange a ride, you’re expecting a call from the doctor, you’re trying to beat Super Hexagon — whatever the case, your phone’s out of juice and you need to recharge stat.

It feels bad.

Still, maybe you should check your privilege the next time you’re scrambling to find a power outlet. In Sanliurfa, Turkey, shepherds haul out personal solar panels to charge their phones with — an awesome solution that’s decidedly less convenient than whipping out your “adaptive fast charger” and hanging out for a few minutes while your Galaxy surges back to life at Starbucks.

The following photos, compiled by Getty Images late in April, show what that process looks like. They’re remarkable for obvious reasons — you’ve probably never seen a donkey used like this — but they also reassert how widespread and indispensable smartphones have become in their short life on this planet.

While penetration remains uneven worldwide, recent numbers from the Pew Research Center show smartphone ownership is fairly common. Fifty-nine percent of adults own smartphones in Turkey, where these photos were taken.

Take a look for yourself:

  • Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    A shepherd in Sanliurfa, Turkey, talks on hisphone, which is charged with solar panels carried by adonkey.
  • Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

    These shepherdsspend most of their timeherding animals, which means they don’t have anywhere to charge their phones. They use solar panelsto power their devices, which lets themcall their relatives in case of emergency and listen to music.
  • Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

  • Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

  • Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

  • Halil Fidan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

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