The Oldest Message in a Bottle Has Been Found in Germany — and You’ll Never Guess Where It Came From

This couple made an absolutely unbelievable find. Their amazing story makes you think about how marvellously unpredictable life is.

Marianne Winkler was on holiday with her husband Horst when she detected an unusual bottle floating by the German island of Amrum. She recounted that the clear glass bottle had a note inside writing only the sentence: ’Break the bottle.’ ’[We] tried to get the message out of the bottle, but there was no chance, so we had to do as it said,’ she said.

When the couple unwrapped the note inside, they found a message in English, German and Dutch. The finder was asked to fill in some information on where and when they had found the bottle, before returning it to the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, UK. There was also a reward with one shilling for the find.

Once they received the card from the couple, the members of the Biological Association were truly amazed as they realised that the bottle was one of 1,020 released into the North Sea between 1904 and 1906 as part of a research to test the strength of currents. Back in the early 1900, they were searching ways to investigate what currents and fish did. Many of the bottles were found by fishermen trawling with deep sea nets. Others washed up on the coast, and some were never recovered. Most of the bottles were found within a relatively short time — months rather than decades.

Indeed, the association sent a shilling to the couple as they had promised. Marianne and Horst are now waiting for the Guinness World Records to confirm if it is the oldest message in a bottle ever to be found. It is believed the current record holder is a bottle found after 99 years.

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