The world’s oldest message in a bottle has been found 132 years after it was sent
The world’s oldest message in a bottle has been found.
The 132-year-old bottle of gin was discovered on a beach near Wedge Island in Western Australia in January.
A message inside the bottle is dated June 12, 1886, and it was thrown overboard from a German sail vessel named Paula, 600 miles from the Australian coast.
It was discovered by Tonya Illman, who spotted the bottle poking out of the sand while walking on the beach.
“It just looked like a lovely old bottle, so I picked it up thinking it might look good in my bookcase,” she told ABC News.
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A piece of rolled up paper, tied with a string, fell out of the bottle.
After taking the note home and drying it out, Mrs Illman found it had German writing on it.
She and her husband, photographer Kym, took the discovery to the Western Australia Museum, where staff carried out a series of investigations about its origins.
It emerged the bottle was made in the Netherlands in the 19th century.
Between 1864 and 1933, German ships would throw thousands of bottles overboard, in which the captain would write the ship’s coordinates, the date and the name of the ship.
It was part of an experiment by the German Naval Observatory to research sea currents.
“It was an absolute fluke. It won’t get better than than this,” Mrs Illman’s husband Kym told The Guardian.