Postcrossing Blog

Stories about the Postcrossing community and the postal world

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Sometime ago, we stumbled on this unexpected topic on the forum, where postcrosser Meowpurr tells her adventures of mailing postcards from the deepest postbox in Germany… so of course, we were intrigued and wanted to bring it over to the blog, so that more of you learned about it. Here she is, ready to take us all along on a dive into the deep unknown!

"As someone who loves both postcards and the underwater world, you guys can imagine I’m thrilled to announce that… Germany finally has its own underwater mailbox!

It’s 19 meters deep inside Kreidesee Hemmoor, a lake north of Hamburg, and a genuine Divers’ Disneyland. The water is very clear (for a lake 😉), the lake is ~60m deep, full of things to explore underwater, and it’s only open for divers — no regular swimming allowed! 19 meters deep makes the mailbox significantly deeper than this wonderful place I can’t wait to visit too.

A little over a week ago, a freediving festival took place at the lake, and this is why I was there too. Not knowing anything about the new mailbox, I was busy from mornings to evenings doing workshops, making new friends… Doing regular things like repairing cars…

A diver inspects the engine of a car underwater. The car is covered in algae

… when a diving friend from Berlin texted me that the lake’s Facebook account had just posted the glorious news! I don’t remember ever letting him know about my postcard shenanigans, so I guess I must have given him a drunk post-dive speech about postcards and stamps (I guess you all know what it’s like). Well, good thing I did! I started my little side quest to find the mailbox, and tadaaa:

A German mailbox is seen underwater, hung on a railing

It even states the collection time (“weekly”), tells us that waterproof postcards can be bought at the reception, and that it’s Germany’s deepest mailbox:

A close-up of the collection times posted on the mailbox

The next side quest began because my tight festival schedule hardly allowed me to visit the reception with its constant queue of arriving scuba divers (but of course I made it happen ), and because said reception had screwed up buying waterproof pens for their waterproof postcards! I tested the one they sold me in the sink: came off straight away 😱 They did have a thick green one I could borrow – good enough, but I was so relieved the addresses I drew didn’t have a delicate script like Chinese!

By the time I mailed the cards on the last festival day my legs felt completely useless and I was frozen – it was those cold days in the midst of the heat wave, with only 22°C air temperature and only 12°C in the 20m depth region. Mailing those cards was the very last thing I did before literally breaking down.

The card itself is posted without the stamp, so the diving mail carriers (?) attach it themselves. Of course I reminded the receptionist that international mail requires more postage than national, haha, postcrossers’ paranoia… Would have loved to see their faces when they saw one of their first postcards is going all the way to Vietnam!

Now, this is the card:

A postcard featuring a shark, surrounded by divers

And this is it, Postcrossing reaching new depths! 🎉

Meowpurr is seen underwater, mailing her postcard Meowpurr is seen underwater, mailing her postcard

And there’s a happy ending too: the first card arrived! I can’t wait to go back and mail some more, and I hope I get to spot some more underwater mail on people’s walls!"

Good news! More recently, Meowpurr went back to the lake armed with a few waterproof pens and wrote some more postcards, which have also arrived. At €6 per postcard, this is not a cheap endeavor… but a fun one, for sure! 🤿


It probably doesn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn that here at Postcrossing we’re really interested in all things postal. There’s a fascinating topic in the Postcrossing forum about how people’s post offices look, allowing glimpses of how different it can be in different communities and different countries. We’ve asked some of the posters for permission to use their photographs, but you can check out the whole thread on the forum to see lots more!

It was difficult to choose which photos to include here, but in the end I thought I’d highlight some of the photos which show how different post offices can be the world over, from a little desk tucked into the corner of a local shop to a custom-built building just for the mail.

For example, in Hanna, Alberta (Canada) the entire town get their mail by coming to this post office building full of personal boxes. Jill (aka Borborhick) explained that it’s open 24/7, with a desk that’s open during the week for picking up and sending parcels, buying postage, etc.

The building where residents of Hanna, Alberta get their mail, a whole room full of mailboxes

On the other hand, here’s a little post office that’s set up in someone’s house, in Wales, UK. I didn’t actually know there were still any post offices in the UK like this, run from someone’s home, so this was an intriguing find for me. Mary (aka maripost) explained a little about about what it’s like: there’s one counter position, which is busy most of the time, and she knows most of her customers since she grew up in the village. It looks lovely!

Mary's post office in her home

Another lovely thing about the thread is the number of nice (and often old) buildings that post offices live in. Brenda (aka BrendaVR) took some lovely ones of her local post office in Ontario (Canada), the Walter Street Post Office. Here’s the one that first struck me, showing the entrance and a sort of mini clocktower at one corner:

Brenda's local post office in Ontario

Speaking of older buildings, here’s a rather classic-looking doorway of a post office in Oxford, UK! This picture was taken by Christine (aka travellingsheep). The building is from 1879, and I’d love to get a closer look at all that detail above the door…

The stone and wood doorway of a post office in Oxford, UK

My attention was also caught by a post from Thisura (aka TazocinWilson) in Sri Lanka, about the post office in his community, Cinnamon Gardens (a former cinnamon plantation). Established in 1905, Thisura called it a living museum, saying that the mail is still collected in leather bags, sorted by hand, and stamped by hand with ink (rather than a franking machine). The red brickwork against the white columns is a really pleasing look!

The Cinnamon Gardens post office Another view of the Cinnamon Gardens post office

Contrast that with this more plain building spotted by Justyn (aka vireolanius) in the US…

A plain post office building spotted by Justyn

Though in fact inside Justyn spotted a lovely detail: a quilt hung on the wall that says “Thank you for using Priority Mail”. It’s an unusual decoration, giving a surprisingly homey look to the inside of the building, but it looks really nice!

A patchwork quilt hung on the wall which says thank you for using Priority Mail

To close, here’s something a little different! Kanerva talked about the fact that Finland has very few actual post offices, and lots of “postal partners” where postal services are offered by corner shops, etc. There’s just one post office in Northern Finland, and that of course is Santa’s main post office, at the Arctic Circle! Kanerva took a few photos to show what it’s like.

The outside of Santa's Main Post Office The inside of Santa's Main Post Office, looking very cosy

One neat detail is these postboxes. One takes normal mail that can be sent anytime, but the other takes mail that will actually be sent in December (regardless of when you put it in the box). A nice way to set up a surprise for someone…

The two post boxes, with elf hats

These are just a few glimpses of different post offices, so don’t forget to check out the full topic… and maybe add some of your own photos? We’d love to see!

PS: Just as Nicky was finishing preparing this post some weeks ago, a fire devastated Manila’s Central Post Office in the Philippines, an historical building over nearly 100 years old. An irreparable and tragic loss of a national landmark, and a part of Manila’s cultural heritage and history. 💔 Please cherish and use your local post offices! -Ana


We’ve written before about the Underwater Postoffice in Vanuatu, and we thought at the time it was the only place you could post a letter underwater in the world.

Well, turns out that isn’t quite true! Postcrosser Cindy (aka cindybeaule) let us know about an underwater post box in Susami, Japan, which was put in place in 1999 as part of a fair to promote the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail. It’s a collaboration between the former postmaster, a man called Toshihiko Matsumoto, and the local diving community. Waterproof postcards are sold in the dive shop, and you have to write your message using waterproof oil-based markers, so the message won’t wash off.

You need diving gear to even reach the post box, because it’s 10 metres below the surface. It’s actually in the Guinness Book of World Records because it’s the deepest post box in the world, and they have a certificate to prove it! The boxes are made of cast-iron, so there are actually two used in rotation, so they can be cleaned and repainted.

I even did some more poking around, and it turns out there are a few other underwater post boxes. There’s one in the Malaysian island of Mataking, another one in the Jemeluk Bay Underwater Gallery in Indonesia, and two “dry” ones: an underwater observatory in the US Virgin Islands and the Risør Underwater Post Office in Norway.

You can watch a whole mini-documentary about the post box in Susami on Youtube—we were amazed to learn that there had been over 38,000 special waterproof postcards sent from this underwater post box at the time it was filmed in 2018. I wonder if any Postcrossers have ever sent or received a card from Susami…? Do let us know!


Ever wondered if there is a way to speed up the delivery of the mail sent to you? Well, actually there is!

It’s quite an obvious fact, but is many times overlooked: writing your address in the most complete and correct way for your country helps a good deal on the speed of the delivery. However, each country has it’s own guidelines of how to write the address so, to help with this, the Universal Postal Union (UPU) has created guides for each country describing how to correctly write the address in that country. This not only insures that the mail is always delivered to you but also that it is done as fast as possible when all the mail is sorted and distributed on the postal services.

To help you find the guide for your own country you can go to your edit address section where you’ll find a direct link to it, or go to the UPU website for all the guides.

Oh, and also very important: if your country has a postal code system (most do), make sure you have your postal code in your address and that it is complete. That will also help the postcards arrive faster to you!

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