Oldest Message in a Bottle Ever Found Washes Ashore on German Island


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Photo Credit: BBC

Photo Credit: BBC

“It’s always a joy when someone finds a message in a bottle,” Marianne Winkler told Amrum News. “Where does it come from, who wrote it and how long has it been traveling on the winds, waves and currents?”

That’s the sentiment from Winkler after she discovered a message in a bottle on the German island of Amrum. Little did she know, the bottle had a storied history more than 100 years in the making.


The bottle was thrown into the southern North Sea by marine biologist George Parker Bidder on November 30, 1906. Over the course of his life, Bidder tossed over 1,000 bottles into the sea as part of his research on current patterns, The Guardian reported. Inside the bottle was a postcard along with a message written in English, German and Dutch. The postcard asked the finder to fill in the date and the location of the bottle and return it back to Bidder. 108 years, four months and 18 days later, the bottle was in the hands of Winkler.

Winkler’s discovery is now considered the oldest message in a bottle ever found.

Winkler followed the instructions and sent the postcard to the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, England. The association wrote a blog for the historic postcard and posted it on Facebook.

The message was so old that it came with an outdated currency.

“One shilling reward,” the postcard said.

For those who aren’t familiar, shillings were a unit of currency used in the United Kingdom, Australia and other British Commonwealth countries in the early 1900s. Shillings haven’t been used in the United Kingdom for over a decade.


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