After Floating For More Than 100 Years At Sea, The Oldest Message In A Bottle Was Found.

A message in a bottle is a form of communication in which a message is sealed in a container and released into a medium, archetypically a bottle released into a large body of water.

Messages in bottles have been used in crowd sourced scientific studies of ocean currents, as well as to send distress messages, memorial tributes, final reports and letters from those believing themselves to be doomed, invitations to prospective pen pals, and letters to actual or imagined love interests.

Bottled messages date to about 310 B.C., in water current studies by Greek philosopher Theophrastus.

A low percentage of bottles—thought by some to be less than 3 percent—are actually recovered, so they are released in large numbers, sometimes in the thousands. Some drift bottles were not found for more than a century after being launched.

Between 1904 and 1906, the Marine Biological Association of the UK released 1,000 bottles, containing messages, into the North Sea, in an attempt at research.

More than 108 years later, one of the bottles that was released has been found.

Marianne Winkler found what’s thought to be the world’s oldest message in a bottle during a vacation on a German beach. Inside the bottle was a postcard, requesting that whoever finds the message return it to the MBA for a reward of one single shilling.

The best part is, after Winkler returned the postcard to the requested address, she actually received an old English shilling!

What do you think of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom honoring the promise found on a postcard from over 100 years ago? Use the comments section below and share your thoughts. We’d love to hear from you!

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