Message In A Bottle Reveals Age Old German Experiment

When Tonya Illman found a washed up gin bottle in Australian sand dunes, she thought it would “look good on a bookshelf.”  Little did she know that it contained the world’s oldest message in a bottle, dating back 132 years.

The roll of paper inside the bottle had been printed in German and dated June 12th, 1886.  Turns out it came from a German ship, Paula.  They reportedly used the message in a bottle system in a 69-year long experiment to track ocean currents.  Each message, including the one Tonya found, had the ship’s coordinates, the date, and the ship’s name.

So what did the message say?  Tonya's husband Kym Illman says he knows a bit of German and was able to translate.  According to him the message says, “could the finder please plot the coordinates it was found and the date it was found, and send it back.”  Roughly 662 other messages from the same experiment have been found with the last one found in 1934.

Source: The Guardian

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