Confused smartphone users have been taking to social media to ask if these mysterious messages from the 1970s could be damaging to their phone
Mysterious: It is impossible to interact with the messages
Mysterious emails dating from 1970 have been turning up in baffled iPhone users' inboxes.
The ghostly communications have no subject, sender or contents either.
Confused smartphone users have been taking to social media to ask if these mysterious messages could be damaging.
Their existence, however, appears to be down to an iPhone glitch, rather than anything more malicious.
The glitch appears to affect users of email apps on the iOS operating system that the iPhone and iPad run on, and sees them receive empty messages dated January 1, 1970.
It is not linked to the bug that encouraged people to set their device’s date to January 1, 1970 , and then break the phone beyond repair, the Telegraph reported.
Instead they are thought to be a glitch caused when iPhone users are checking their emails in a different timezone from their usual one.
January 1, 1970 represents 0 in UNIX time – the way that computers often understand times and dates.
Every second since midnight on January 1 1970 is a different point in UNIX time (we’re currently at around 1.45 billion).
When an email is sent without any time data, or a timezone bug means it can’t be interpreted, the iPhone will default to zero – 1970.
Read more : How to hack an iPhone: Tech legend John McAfee claims it would be 'trivial' for the FBI to crack a smartphone
People in America are also seeing the same problem, but their emails are sent instead from December 31, 1969.
Of course there was email until Ray Tomlinson, who died yesterday, he developed an application that allowed messages to be sent back and forth between computers in 1971.
He used @ to separate the user name from the host name.