A beautiful woman wades out into the ocean, with sun-dappled waves lapping at her dress as she stares into the distance.

Her style of clothing suggests the mesmerising photo and others from the same set were taken in the 1950s or 60s, possibly for a magazine shoot.

The images were discovered gathering dust in a box in a thrift store by professional photographer Meagan Abell, who is now on a mission to uncover the story behind them.

Abell had been rifling through vintage rolls of film and negatives when she found four sets of transparency slides in Richmond, Virginia.

Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, she has now launched an internet campaign to trace the women in the surf and the original photographer, using the hashtag ‘FindTheGirlsOnTheNegatives’.

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