The message in an older bottle has been discovered, and behind it is a very interesting story.
The idea of using a bottle to send a message is centuries old, but in popular culture it is more associated with the image of a shipwrecked man desperate to be rescued than to be a real method of communication.
Perhaps understandably, although the idea is very old, there are not many examples of messages in bottles, either because they were lost on the seabed without finding their destination or because the bottles ended up broken and the messages wet.
The history of the message in an older bottle
So Marianne Winkler did not believe what she had found while walking on the beaches of an island in northern Germany: a bottle with the inscription Break the bottle and what looked like a paper inside. Fortunately, her first reaction was not to listen to the bottle, but between her and her husband they tried to open it and get the contents.
Because of the irons of fate, Winkler is a retired postal worker, so it was fitting that she finda postal letter, with the address already written and instructions in English, German and Dutch, along with the promise of a chelon reward (one-twentieth of a pound sterling).
The message asked the person who had found the bottle to mail it to the address indicated, that of the Plymouth Marine Biological Association, founded in 1884 (although Winkler did not send the postcard as-is but in an envelope to keep it).
The association continues to exist in the same direction, and it was a pleasant surprise to receive the letter, considering that it was part of an experiment that one of its members, George Parker Bidder, had organized with the aim ofe study the currents from the depths of the North Sea.
The experiment that filled the North Sea with bottles
Bidder dropped more than 1,000 message bottles into the sea, hoping someone would find them and record the direction of the currents. The experiment was relatively successful, and 55% of messages were returned, mostly by fishermen in the area.
The bottle that had been discovered was part of a group of bottles that were launched in 1906, so it is already 110 years old; The Guinness Book of Records has confirmed that this is the oldest message in a bottle. In 2014 we spoke to you on Omicrono about another story, this one somewhat more emotional, about a bottle with a message.
But wait, what happened to the reward for delivering the letter? The association followed through on its member’s promise, and they searched eBay for a chevron (available for $ 1 a unit) to send to the discoverer with a letter of thanks. Did they also tell her not to spend it all on one thing?