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The Australian couple found the world’s oldest message in a bottle – from 1886

In January 2018, a resident of Australia, Tonya Illman (Tonya Illman) said that she found on the beach a bottle with a message thrown into the sea 132 years ago. After several months of studying it turned out that it is the oldest ever found in the world

Initially, Illman just saw a beautiful bottle engraved with the inscription and thought that it would “look good on the shelf.” Returning, she and her husband found a folded sheet of paper at the bottom. Unfolding it, the couple saw a message in German.

The note is dated June 12, 1886: it says that the bottle was thrown into the water from the research ship “Paula” during the experiment. The message asked the one who found the note to ask for more information at the German Maritime Observatory in Hamburg.

At first, Illman believed that the message in the bottle was not real. Therefore, she turned to the staff of one of the Australian museums, which, after consulting with their German counterparts, confirmed the authenticity of the note.

It sounds incredible, but in Germany found the ship’s magazine “Paula”, where it is written that on June 12, 1886, the captain of the ship threw a bottle with a message overboard. Date, coordinates, even handwriting – all coincided.

Ross Anderson
employee of the Museum of Western AustraliaMost of the text is printed, but there are also handwritten fragments

The bottle was thrown out in the southeastern part of the Indian Ocean. According to experts, a year after the launch, the message reached the shores of Australia, where it remained to lie until Illman found it. For 69 years of experiment, the Naval Observatory threw out thousands of messages in the sea, but returned only 662. The latter was found in 1934 in Denmark.

The message became the oldest found in the world. The previous record – 108 years prior to the moment of location – was established in 2015.

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