Oldest message in a bottle ever found on German beach

Between 1904 and 1906, researcher George Parker Bidder released a bottle into the North Sea as part of an experiment. Now, about 108 years later, a couple in Germany has discovered the bottle washed up on a German beach. It is believed this is the oldest message in a bottle discovered thus far, joining the ranks of other bottles that has been founded dating back to the early 1900s. The discovery was made back in April, but has only recently been publicized.

The discovery was made by Marianne Winkler, according The Telegraph; she was on vacation on the island Amrum when she spotted the bottle. The bottle, as you can see in the image, has a piece of paper instructing the person who finds it to break the bottle. They tried to avoid doing that, but couldn't get the contents out, and so had to break the bottle.

Inside was a postcard and the promise of a reward (a shilling) if the person who found the bottle returned the post card. The contents inside were written in Dutch, German, and English, and asked the person who found the bottle to include some information about where and in what manner they found the message.

The return address was listed as the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth. Even better, the couple decided to follow through with the instructions despite how long of a time period had passed — they mailed the post card to the association within an envelope.

Bidder had released 1,020 such bottles into the North Sea starting in 1904 and stopping in 1906, doing so in order to gather data about deep sea currents. Some bottles were returned by fishermen and those who found them on beaches, while other bottles are still yet to be found. It is thought to have been "very many years" since the last bottle was found. How long ago the bottle washed up on shore isn't clear.

The Marine Biological Association was excited to receive the post card, and upheld its part of the promise: it mailed Winkler a shilling in reward.

SOURCE: The Telegraph