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Woman stumbles on 133-year-old gin bottle with a message in Australia

Speed News Desk | Updated on: 7 March 2018, 13:59 IST

While taking a walk on the beach, one can find pearls, gemstones, and rubbish, but one would not expect to find a 133-year-old gin bottle with a message tucked inside it.

Well, it happened and it happened with a woman, who stumbled upon the bottle on Australia's Wedge Island, according to National Public Radio.

The bottle came off from a German barque called Paula when its sailors, in 1866, tossed the bottle with a message into waters hundreds of miles off the Western coast of Australia.

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Tonya Illman, who spotted the bottle in January, said, "I picked it up thinking it might look nice on display in my home."

It could be the oldest-known message in a bottle, in terms of the amount of time that has passed between when it was written and when it was found, according to Australian, German and Dutch researchers, who had received the bottle from Western Australia Museum after Illman gave it to them.

Currently, according to Guinness World Records, the oldest is a 108-year-old bottle, which was found in Germany in 2015.

The researchers said Germany during 1864 to 1933 conducted a naval experiment to learn more about ocean currents and in that regard, thousands of bottles were thrown into the world's oceans from German ships.

"Each containing a form on which the captain would write the date it was jettisoned, the exact coordinates at the time, the name of the ship, its home port, and travel route," the NPR quoted the researchers as saying.

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"On the back, it 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."

The finding of the bottle is in accordance with the experiment, the museum said in a research report.

The researchers have also identified the gin bottle's brand -- Daniel Visser & Zonen. They said the shape and size of the relic were inconsistent with the bottles produced by the Dutch company.

"This has been the most remarkable event in my life," said Illman. "To think this bottle has not been touched for nearly 132 years and is in perfect condition, despite the elements, beggars belief. I'm still shaking."

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First published: 7 March 2018, 13:59 IST