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21st Aug 2015

The World’s Oldest Message in a Bottle has Finally Washed Up On Shore

The bottle was sent as part of a scientific experiment in 1904.

Rebecca McKnight

 A message in a bottle, believed to be the world’s oldest, has washed up on shore after 108 years at sea. 

Retired postal worker Marianne Winkler was holidaying on the German island of Amrum when she spotted the bottle floating by the shore.

Speaking to local paper The Amrum News, she said the clear glass vessel had a note inside that read “Break the bottle”.

She said: “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.”

Inside, the couple found a message written in English, German and Dutch, which asked the finder to fill in some information on where and when they had found the bottle, before returning it to the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth for the handsome reward of one shilling.

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Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, Communications director of the Marine Biological Association, Guy Baker said: It was quite a stir when we opened that envelope, as you can imagine.”

It transpired that the bottle was one of over 1,000 released into the North Sea from 1904 to 1906 in an effort to test the strength of currents.

It is believed the current record holder for the oldest message in a bottle ever found is a bottle found after 99 years.