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World's oldest message in a bottle found in Australia

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, March 7, 2018, 2:39 PM - Back in January, Tonya Illman stumbled upon a 132-year-old message in a bottle on an Australian beach.

The letter, dated June 12, 1886, is the world's oldest-known message in a bottle, replacing the previous record-holder, which is 108 years old.

Illman first picked up the bottle thinking it would make an interesting collectible, until she found the note inside.

The letter had been thrown from the German ship, Paula. Thousands of bottles had been thrown overboard from ships during that era to help gain a better understanding of ocean currents.

SEE BELOW: Bottle location

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It includes the ship's coordinates, date and name and asks the finder to report when and where the bottle was found, along with a description of its condition.

It asks that the bottle be returned to the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg or the closest German consulate. Its authenticity was confirmed by cross-referencing the handwriting in the captain's entries.

The bottle is now on display at the Western Australian Museum.

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