This message in a bottle washed up after 108 years and is the world’s oldest 3



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Between 1904 and 1906, British scientist George Parker Bidder released over 1,000 bottles to sea for research purposes. The message, written in English, German and Dutch, asked whoever finds it to smash the bottle and fill in some information on a card on where and how they found it. Out of the 1,020 sent out, some were never returned and scientists assumed they had been lost in the ocean forever. But when retired post office worker Marianne Winkler was on holiday the island of Amrum, Germany, she found one of them.


According to The Independent, Mrs Winkler said: “It’s always a joy when someone finds a message in a bottle on the beach.

“Where does it come from, who wrote it, and how long has it been travelling on the winds, waves and currents.

“My husband, Horst, carefully tried to get the message out of the bottle, but there was no chance, so we had to do as it said.

“We did as it asked, and the story took its course.”

The couple filled out all the details, and sent the postcard back to its return address, the Marine Biological Association (MBA) in Plymouth, Devon, 500km away from where they found it.

The bottles were released by the scientists as part of a project to find out about deep sea currents, and were specially designed to float just above the sea bed. With the data from the bottles that were found, Bidder proved for the first time that the deep sea current flowed from east to west in the North Sea.

The century-old message in the bottle was confirmed by the Guiness World Record to be the oldest ever message of its kind to be discovered. In the postcard, Bidder also promised a shilling to the finder and an old English shilling (5p) was exactly what Mrs Winkler received.

Have you ever sent or found a message in a bottle before? What would you write in the letter if you sent one today?



Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. We would probably say something along the lines of ” surprised the Earth is still surviving with all the idiotic Muslim terrorists determined to blow it into smithereens because of their ridiculous views on life”

  2. I have dropped several bottles into the sea from an offshore oil production platform I worked on. It was about 45 miles offshore, and I put on the note the date and position it started from plus my home address. I’ve received one back, picked up on the beach within a week of sending.

  3. As a child, I put a message in a bottle and put it in the thatch of the roof just after the thatchers had done it. We sold the house and a few years later the new owners had the thatch pulled off and tiles put on in its place, I was in the school playgtound when a little girt came up and gave me my bottle and message, she lived at the house and the roof tilers gave it to her. I was disappointed it hadn’t been there years longer! Think I’ll prepare a message in a bottle and send it out to sea in the English channel, see what comes of it.

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