Australian Couple Discover World’s Oldest Message in a Bottle

The world’s oldest message in a bottle washed up on a beach in Australia, about 132 years after it was thrown overboard a ship, according to 9 News in Australia.

Kym and Tonya Illman of Perth, Australia, found the bottle in January near Wedge Island, about 100 miles away from Perth.

“It just looked like a lovely old bottle, so I picked it up thinking it might look good in my bookcase,” Tonya Illman told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

When Tonya Illman took the bottle back home and opened it, she saw a tightly rolled piece of paper tied with string. The writing was in German.

“I could easily make out the day and month, June 12, but the year was harder to decipher,” according to Kym Illman.

After the Illmans laid the wet paper out to dry, “we had to wait a week before we had confirmation it was 1889,” Kym Illman wrote on, a website that he created detailing the discovery of the bottle.

After researching where the note could be from and using his basic German language skills, he discovered it was from the German ship named Paula. The message was a form filled out as part of a German experiment to understand ocean currents, according to ABC Australia.

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