A 98-year-old scrap of paper was discovered in a bottle caught in the nets of a Shetland Isles skipper.
Far from being a call for help from a shipwrecked sailor or a letter to a lost love the message was instead part of a century old science experiment. "Please state where and when this card was found, and then put it in the nearest Post Office," it read. "You will be informed in reply where and when it was set adrift. Our object is to find out the direction of the deep currents of the North Sea."
The message is the oldest ever recorded according to the Guinness Book of Records and is believed to have been released in to the sea along with 1,889 others by Capt. C. Hunter Brown on June 10, 1914. The release of the bottles was part of experiments conducted by the Glasgow School of Navigation to learn more about the circulation of water around Scotland.
"Oddly enough, the previous record - a message in a bottle dating to 1917 - was set in 2006 by Mark Anderson, a friend of Leaper's who was sailing the same ship, the Copious."
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Source: National Geographic
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