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World’s Oldest Message In a Bottle Found on an Island


A message in a bottle found a year ago by a German on the German Island of Amrun is the world’s oldest message ever.

A retired German postal worker, Marianne Winkler, found the bottle when she was on holiday with her husband on the island on 17th April 2015.

The bottle is believed to be among the 1,020 bottles dropped by George Parker Bidder (who died in 1954) of the Marine Biological Association (MBA) in the North Sea, between 1904 and 1906. The bottles were part of his research to learn about the patterns of currents, according to Fox News.

Curious to know what it had inside, Winkler found a phrase“ Break the bottle”. She said her husband tried to pull out the stuff inside, but it didn’t work. So they finally broke it. It had a postcard inside which said whoever came across it would be given a shilling as a reward. The further instructions said to record the place and time when it was found and requested to hand back to MBA in Plymouth, Devon. The couple returned it to the organization and received a shilling from eBay.

The Guinness Book of World Records also confirmed the bottle was 108 years, four months and 18 days old when found last April. Before that, in 2013, another bottle with a message inside was found after 99 years.

“It’s amazing to actually hold the postcard and think it’s been floating around the North Sea for 108 years,” Guy Baker, communications director at MBA, said in a report by Plymouth Herald.

“It is great to get it back – it is one of the earliest examples of a citizen science project and will now go on display somewhere.”

Baker added that many bottles were received from fishermen who also got the reward. Moreover, Bidder was able to record 55% return rate of the bottles.  He also had a prominent role in developing MBA and Marine biology in the UK.

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