Oldest known message in a bottle washes up

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The bottle had been floating in the ocean for over a century. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Dread83
A message in a bottle dating back more than a century has been discovered on a beach in Germany.

The bottle, which is believed to date back 108 years, was found by Marianne Winkler and her husband Horst during a stroll on a beach on the North Sea island of Amrum.

What they found inside was a rolled up piece of paper bearing a message written in several languages asking the finder to return it to the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth.

It is thought that the bottle was released between 1904 and 1906 alongside 1019 others by scientist George Parker Bidder who had been attempting to study deep sea currents.

“It’s always a joy when someone finds a message in a bottle on the beach,” said Mrs Winkler.

Even though some of his bottles were never recovered Bidder did manage to retrieve enough of them at the time to prove that currents in the North Sea flowed from east to west.

“It was a time when they were inventing ways to investigate what currents and fish did,” said Guy Baker, communications director at the Marine Biological Association.

“The association still does similar research today, but we have access to technology they didn’t have, such as electronic tags. Many of the bottles were found by fishermen trawling with deep sea nets.”

“Others washed up on the shore, and some were never recovered.”