World’s Oldest Known Message In A Bottle Found After 108 Years

German couple discovers world’s oldest message that was locked in a bottle for around 108 years!

As a part of the marine research program, the bottle was thrown into North Sea a century ago and surprisingly it has reached its destination after about a century.

Last week, CBC News reported that, in April this year, a German couple had discovered some postcard locked in a bottle which had washed up on the beach of Amrum Island.

Retired postal worker, Marianne Winkler, found the bottle on the shores and though most of the times the letters locked in such bottles are known to have some romantic messages, this one however did not have any romance in it. Instead, it was a part of some ancient marine experiment.

Marianne and her husband, were on a vacation at the North Sea Island and had no idea that this message would turn out to be nearly 108 years old!

Inside the bottle, there was a postcard which clearly said “Break the Bottle” and hence she finally decided to break it open to get the message out.

The postcard instructed the receiver that it needs to be sent across to the Marine Biological Association (MBA), Plymouth, U.K.; the couple followed the instructions and did sent this postcard to its destination.

The MBA, too, has confirmed that the bottle was tossed into the North Sea during early 20th Century, between 1904 and 1906 and it was part of some marine expedition carried out by the then researcher George Parker Bidder, who later became president of the MBA.

On Friday, Guy Baker, spokesman for MBA told CBC News: “We were very excited. We certainly weren’t expecting to receive any more of the postcards.”

Baker also gave a statement that Bidder had released some 1000 bottles into the North Sea, a century ago, with an aim of testing the North Sea’s Ocean currents as a part of his marine research program. He also said this particular message definitely belongs to that group of expedition.

Baker further explained that Bidder had created the bottles in such a manner that they were to stay afloat against the deep sea currents. Inside the bottle was locked a post card which promised the finder “one shilling reward” provided it was returned to Plymouth along with the necessary information regarding “where” and “when” they found the bottle.

The postcard’s message was written in English, German and Dutch.

German couple discovers world's oldest message that was locked in a bottle for around 108 years!

Baker also said that during that period most of the bottles were reported to have been found within months of its release.

It seems few of the bottles were pulled by the fishermen some decades ago and have been returned back to the association. Baker said, in a way these messages have also proved to be useful to the local fishermen.

According to Guinness Books of Records, the current record holder message was tossed in 1914, for some scientific purpose and discovered in west of the Shetland Islands in July 2013, after 99 years. Hence, MBA, is now checking if Bidder’s “message in the bottle” can get the recognition of the oldest ever found message in the Guinness records.

Baker also added that he is not sure if the bottle was actually tossing around the ocean for all these 108 years or if it has been buried under the sand and now washed offshore.

Anyways, the couple would receive their “reward” of “one shilling” for returning the bottle to the association and definitely cherish the memorable vacation with a great historic story.

We can thus say that finally a century old message securely locked in a bottle has finally reached its destination, possibly even making way for itself into the Guinness Books of Records.

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Maya Kamath
Maya Kamath
Content writer with unending love to pen down my thoughts and views regarding the new technological inventions as well as probe into the current affairs. Feel as if i am free bird who can actually live life at my pace.


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