top of page

Oldest message in a bottle

The oldest message in a bottle was discovered on a beach in Western Australia earlier this month. The 132-year old bottle was now confirmed as authentic.

Tonya Illman discovered the antique bottle on a beach walk near her home in Perth. Perth is the largest city in Western Australia and lies on the Indian Ocean.

While picking up rubbish from the beach near her house, Illman saw the unique bottle lying in the sand. She took it home to show her family as she thought the bottle would make a nice ornament for the house.

On closer examination of the bottle, the family found a little rolled-up note inside the bottle. When the note was opened, it was clear that the bottle was very old. The printed note from 1886 mentioned to inform the German consulate of the whereabouts of the bottle.

With further investigation it was discovered that the bottle was part of an experiment by the German Naval Observatory that examined ocean streams and shipping routes in the south-eastern Indian Ocean. The drifting bottle was recorded in an old journal to have been thrown over board on 12 June 1886.

The bottle most probably only had travelled twelve month before it landed on the Australian beach were it was buried for many years - until it surfaced only now.

Before this oldest message in a bottle was found, the record was at 108 years.

source: Live Science/Guinness Book of World Records


bottom of page