A group of beach goers in Australia were strolling the sands recently when they came across what they thought was just a very cool looking bottle.
It turns out that they found the world’s oldest recorded message in a bottle writes IFL Science.
“My friend Grace Ricciardo and I were walking across the dunes when I saw something sticking out of the sand so I went to take a closer look,” Tonya Illman, one of the beach goers, explained in a statement.
“It just looked like a lovely old bottle so I picked it up thinking it might look good in my bookcase. My son’s girlfriend was the one who discovered the note when she went to tip the sand out. The note was damp, rolled tightly and wrapped with string. We took it home and dried it out, and when we opened it we saw it was a printed form, in German, with very faint German handwriting on it.”
— ABC Science (@ABCscience) March 6, 2018
Upon inspection it was discovered that the message was from a German sailor aboard an exploratory vessel called the Paula and was dated June 12, 1886. It gave the coordinates where the bottle had been dropped; that being around 950 kilometers (590 miles) from the coast in the Indian Ocean.
There is evidence on hand to back up the details of the note. IFL Science writes that records kept by the Western Australian Museum indicate that there was an oceanographic expedition involving a ship called the Paula that was launched in the 1880s to study water currents and, incredibly, there exists a log from the Paula’s captain reporting the dropping of a bottle at the coordinates mentioned in the bottle’s note that corresponds with the date given.
The worlds oldest known message in a bottle found just north of Wedge Island in WA by this Perth couple. It was found half buried on the beach nearly 132 years after it was tossed overboard from a German ship @9NewsPerth pic.twitter.com/V4Bt9FLGci
— Michael Stamp (@StampyMichael) March 6, 2018
The bottle, of confirmed 19th Century production, is estimated to have arrived on the shores of Australia later in the year 1886, but was buried in the sands by the tides, only to be uncovered 132 years later, making it the oldest bottle message ever.
The previous winner was a 108-year-old bottle, found in Germany after being dropped in the North Sea.
The Australian bottle is now being displayed at the Western Australian Museum.
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