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World's oldest message in a bottle discovered on an Australian beach

Tuesday 06/March/2018 - 03:17 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by: Yara Sameh

A new record for the oldest known message in a bottle has been set at 132 years، daily mail reported.

A 19th century gin bottle washed up on a West Australian beach more than a century after it was thrown into the sea.

The message is dated June 12، 1886، and it was thrown overboard form the German sailing vessel Paula، 950km from the WA coast.

Tonya Illman was walking on the beach when she discovered the bottle sticking out form the sand، she told ABC News.

'It just looked like a lovely old bottle، so I picked it up thinking it might look good in my bookcase،' she said.

Mrs Illman told the Western Australian Museum about what she did after finding the bottle.

'The note was damp، rolled tightly and wrapped with string،' she said.

'We took it home and dried it out، and when we opened it we saw it was a printed form، in German، with very faint German handwriting on it.'

The bottle was found near Wedge Island، 180km north of Perth، as part of a 69-year experiment to better understand global ocean currents to affect more efficient shipping routes.

Researchers believe the bottle and message probably washed up there within a year of being jettisoned but lay buried in a layer of damp sand which helped preserve it، until a storm surge or similar weather event uncovered it more than a century later.

From 1864 until 1933، thousands of bottles were thrown into the sea from German ships logging the date it was dropped، co-ordinates، the name of the ship، its home port and travel route.

To date only 662 of those messages have been returned but none of the bottles، with the last one found in Denmark in 1934.

The Western Australian Museum assistant curator of maritime archaeology Ross Anderson was tasked with investigating the find.

He and colleagues compared the hand writing form the bottled message with captain entries to the log of Paula and determined the find to be authentic.

'Extraordinary finds need extraordinary evidence to support them،' he said.

'The handwriting is identical in terms of cursive style، slant، font، spacing، stroke emphasis، capitalisation and numbering style.'

The previous record holder was a bottle found 108 years after it had been dropped into the ocean.

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