The Marine Biological Association in the UK reports that a couple has been rewarded for returning oldest message in a bottle. According to spokesperson Guy Baker, the letter was discovered by Marianne and Horst Winkler during their April holiday on the German island of Amrum.
Marianne and Horst were very surprised when they first saw the ancient bottle on the coast of the North Sea. The two have stated that the only visible message was an invitation for the finder to break the glass and read the letter. However, Horst did not want to destroy the possibly valuable bottle, so he did everything he could to get the postal card out without breaking the container.
Unfortunately, his trials have been in vain and the man eventually had to break the glass to get access to the content of the letter. The couple further stated that the message was written in three different languages, namely, English, Dutch and German and was signed by George Parker Bidder.
The sender promised a shilling to the finder of the message if he returned the postal card to the Marine Biological Association in UK. Marianne and her husband did as told and they received the promised reward: an old English shilling. In addition, they had the amazing opportunity to get their hands on one of the messages that were sent by MBA’s president George Parker Bidder as part of his marine research program.
The association has explained that the message in a bottle was released in the North Sea in 1906 by the marine biologist, himself. 1,020 other similar letters were released at the same time in order to test deep sea currents for the improvement of fishing activities. Most letters have been returned to the association in the following months; some of them have never been found again, which is why researchers have been very surprised to see this new message resurface again after so many years.
Due to the contribution he brought to the marine community, Bidder was named the president of the association in the period between 1939 and 1945.
Scientists at the Marine Biological Association believe this is the oldest message in a bottle to have ever been found. It is approximately 108 years old according to their estimates; therefore the representatives of the association have contacted the Guinness Book of World Records to register it. The oldest letter to have ever been found in the sea is 99 year old Guinness officials have stated.
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