May 2014

World’s Oldest Message in a Bottle Found

World's oldest message in a bottleWorld's oldest message in a bottle

World's oldest message in a bottle
A message written 101 years ago was found inside this bottle.

In March 2014, a fisher pulled something unusual out of the Baltic Sea, near Germany. Mixed in with his catch was a glass bottle with a 101-year-old message inside. According to Guinness World Records, this is the oldest message in a bottle ever found.

After the message in a bottle was discovered, researchers began to study it. They found that a man named Richard Platz wrote the message when he was 20 years old. Platz wrote it on a Danish postcard and dated it May 17, 1913. He put two German postage stamps on it. He then placed it inside a brown bottle and put the top back on. He tossed the bottle into the sea while hiking along Germany’s Baltic coast.

No one knows how far the bottle traveled. It was found not far from where Platz tossed it. The bottle is now being kept at the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg, Germany. Researchers there were able to make out an address. There was also a note to return the postcard to the sender, if found. The rest of the message was not readable. This is because it got wet floating in the sea for so long.

The bottle and postcard will be displayed at the International Maritime Museum until May 1. Platz’s 62-year-old granddaughter was invited to see it. After May 1, experts will try again to figure out what the rest of the message says.

Image credit: ©Uwe Paesler/EPA/Corbis
Question 1
Where was the message in a bottle found?

Question 2
How old is the message in the bottle?

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