If you thought that messages in bottles were the stuff of cinema and fairytales, think again: The oldest known message in a bottle has just been found, and it is just as fascinating and mysterious as the ones in the movies.
It was thrown into the North Sea more than a century ago, and the bottle is part of one of the longest-running science experiments in history. Here’s how the story goes:
From 1904-1906, George Parker Bidder of the Marine Biological Association in the UK placed 1020 postcards inside of bottles (each addressed the institution from whence they came), and released them in the North Sea. Over the years, people sent them back with info on where they were found so researchers could study their movement.
The latest, pictured below, was found by a woman named Marianne Winkler. Experts believe it’s been under the sea for 99 years.
“It’s always a joy finding a message-in-a-bottle on the beach,” Winkler wrote after her discovery of the bottle on Amrum, an island off of Germany.”Where does it come from, who wrote it, and how long has it been traveling with the wind, waves and currents?”