Last month, a fisherman on the Baltic Sea pulled in a once-in-a-lifetime catch: the world’s oldest message in a bottle.
The Guardian reports the fisherman pulled in the bottle while fishing in the Baltic near the city of Kiel in northern Germany. He turned the artifact over to the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg. Museum researchers believe that it is the world’s oldest message in a bottle.
“This is certainly the first time such an old message in a bottle was found, particularly with the bottle in tact,” museum spokesman Holger von Neuhoff told the Guardian.
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The bottle contained a postcard dating back to May 17, 1913. Researchers identified the author as Richard Platz, who was a 20-year-old man in 1913 when he threw the bottle into the Baltic while on a nature hike.
Researchers are still trying to decipher what was written on the postcard. Using the writing that was still legible, the researchers were able to track down one of Platz’s relatives – his 62-year-old granddaughter Angela Erdmann, who currently lives in Berlin. Erdmann recently visited the museum to examine the message.
“That was a pretty moving moment,” Erdmann said. “Tears rolled down my cheeks.”
The previous world’s oldest message in a bottle dated back to 1914. The recent discovery will be on display in the museum until May 1.
As for the message, the museum is still trying to decipher what it said.
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