Australian woman finds 132-year-old message in a bottle


It looked like “a lovely old bottle,” but a woman from found something much more intriguing on the beach in Western Australia: the world’s oldest known message in a bottle, CNN reported.

>> Read more trending news

Tonya Illman discovered the bottle, half-buried in the sand, with a note dated June 12, 1886. The bottle was thrown into the Indian Ocean from the German boat Paula, which was traveling from Cardiff, Wales to the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), CNN reported.

According to the Western Australia Museum, the bottle was one of thousands thrown into the oceans as part of a 69-year-long experiment on global currents, CNN reported.

The previous world record for the oldest message in a bottle was 108 years, 4 months, 18 days from the time it was thrown into the water until the time it was discovered, the Western Australia Museum said.

The authenticity of the bottle was confirmed by experts in Germany and Australia, CNN reported.

Illman said she found the bottle near her son’s car.

"My friend Grace Ricciardo and I were walking across the dunes when I saw something sticking out of the sand so I went to take a closer look," Illman told the museum. “It just looked like a lovely old bottle so I picked it up thinking it might look good in my bookcase. My son's girlfriend was the one who discovered the note when she went to tip the sand out.”

Illman said the note was “damp, rolled tightly and wrapped with string.” 

Experts said the bottle was a 19th century Dutch gin bottle, CNN reported.

“Incredibly, an archival search in Germany found Paula's original Meteorological Journal and there was an entry for 12 June 1886 made by the captain, recording a drift bottle having been thrown overboard,”Ross Anderson, the museum's assistant curator Maritime Archeology, told CNN. “The date and the coordinates correspond exactly with those on the bottle message.”

The museum did not reveal what the exact message was.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

How the AJC covered the Tommy Mims case from
How the AJC covered the Tommy Mims case from "ATL Homicide"

The Tommy Mims murder case was the subject of the twelfth episode of the true-crime series "ATL Homicide" on TV One. Mims was one of four people killed across Fulton and DeKalb counties by Aeman Presley over a four-month period. Presley was a failed actor who moved to Atlanta and started his killing spree. "ATL Homicide" recreates...
Domestic dispute ends with officers shooting man in Gwinnett, police say
Domestic dispute ends with officers shooting man in Gwinnett, police say

There was an officer-involved shooting in Gwinnett County on Monday night, police said. A domestic incident between an ex-husband and his ex-wife in Lawrenceville ended with multiple officers shooting the man, Gwinnett County police said on Twitter. The incident took place on Alex Lane. Police said in a later tweet that an she was assaulted by him...
Teen accused of killing Atlanta charity worker also faces Gwinnett murder charge
Teen accused of killing Atlanta charity worker also faces Gwinnett murder charge

An 18-year-old faces charges in two metro Atlanta homicides, authorities told Channel 2 Action News. Khalid Bays, who turned himself in Friday in connection with the fatal shooting of an Atlanta charity worker, now also faces a murder charge out of Gwinnett County, Channel 2 reported. On Monday, he was charged in connection with the fatal shooting...
Crucial partner in Georgia nuclear project calls for cost cap
Crucial partner in Georgia nuclear project calls for cost cap

Dreams of a U.S. nuclear energy renaissance have faded around the country, but a lone project slated to be paid for by Georgia consumers and businesses continues to survive, despite a troubled history and massive cost overruns. On Monday, the nuclear power expansion of Plant Vogtle cleared another hurdle. Sort of. But this time a crucial partner in...
Eagle’s Landing cityhood could doom Stockbridge, lawyers tell court
Eagle’s Landing cityhood could doom Stockbridge, lawyers tell court

Creating a city of Eagle’s Landing could potentially spell doom for the future of Stockbridge and could harm cities and municipalities across Georgia, lawyers for the Henry County community and one of the nation’s largest municipal bond holders argued in federal court Monday. Stockbridge, a city of nearly 29,000 residents, would lose as...
More Stories