In April of this year, Marianne Winkler was walking along a beach in Germany while on vacation, when she found a bottle that had washed up.
It turns out the note that was inside is more than 100 years old, which would make it the oldest to be found.
The bottle was thrown into the North Sea between 1904 and 1906, and had drifted around until it was discovered on the German island of Amrum. Inside was a postcard asking for it to be sent to the Marine Biological Association of the U.K., with a promise of a small reward (one shilling) to the person who sent it.
108-year-old message in a bottle found:
George Parker Bidder was a British scientist who was conducting research for the U.K. Marine Biological Association, and is the person responsible for the bottle. Bidder at the time was studying ocean currents and had tossed approximately 1,000 bottles into the North Sea. Each bottle contained the same message, which was a survey that was written in English, German, and Dutch.
Winkler followed the written instructions and mailed it with the bottle to the Marine Biological Association. When the researchers from the association opened the parcel, they were stunned.
Guy Baker, from the Marine Biological Association, told the Telegraph: “It was quite a stir when we opened that envelope, as you can imagine.”
“The bottles were weighed down to float just above the sea bed, and used as part of a study into the movement of sea currents. Most bottles were trawled up by fishermen and returned decades ago” Baker told Business Insider.
108-year-old message in a bottle washes up in Germany:
“We think this bottle was one of the last batch he sent out, in 1906, so that would make it 108 years old,” Baker told the Telegraph.
According to Gizmodo: “That would make it the oldest ever, but there’s no way to tell for certain. They will still be submitting it to the Guinness Book of World Records, which currently holds that the “official” oldest was found after 99 years.”
True to their word, Winkler received her reward, an old shilling.