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Postal retiree discovers 108-year-old message in bottle

Marianne Winkler and her husband with the shilling and letter found in the bottle. Photo: The Telegraph

A retired German postal worker recently discovered the world’s oldest message in a bottle while vacationing off the northern European coast.

Marianne Winkler and her husband found the bottle while walking along Amrum Island in the North Sea. The bottle contained a postcard promising a reward of one shilling if returned to the Marine Biological Association (MBA) of the United Kingdom.

“We did as it asked, and the story took its course,” Winkler told The Telegraph, a British newspaper.

The bottle was one of 1,020 launched by marine biologist George Parker Bidder in the early 1900s as part of an experiment on deep sea currents. Most bottles were recovered within months.

The MBA believes the bottle was in the last batch Bidder released in 1906.

While impossible to tell if the bottle was at sea all that time or was washed and buried in sand, the association made sure Winkler got the shilling reward promised in the note.

Said Winkler: “It’s always a joy when someone finds a message in a bottle on the beach.”

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