The world's oldest known message in a bottle has been found on a west Australia beach 132 years after it was tossed overboard from the German sailing barque Paula, ABC reports. A seaman put the gin bottle in the water 590 miles from where it was found.
The message, dated June 12, 1886, was not unique; rather it was one of many dispatched in a 69-year German Naval Observatory research inquiry into ocean currents, the goal being to find faster shipping routes. Thousands of bottles were thrown overboard from German ships, and each contained a form on which was written the date, the ship's coordinates and details of its route.
"On the back, the messages asked the finder to write when and where the bottle had been found and return it, either to the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg or the nearest German Consulate," ABC says. A Perth family found the bottle Jan. 21 in a sand dune near Wedge Island, about 112 miles north of Perth, and turned it over to to the Western Australian Museum.
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Drew Broach covers Jefferson Parish politics and Louisiana interests in Congress, plus other odds and ends, for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Facebook: Drew Broach TP. Twitter: drewbroach1. Google+: Drew Broach.