"I Am Still Shaking": Australian Family Found The Oldest Note In The Bottle Dated In 1886


"I Am Still Shaking": Australian Family Found The Oldest Note In The Bottle Dated In 1886

Date September 18, 2018 12:59

The ocean hides away many secrets; this family was lucky to discover one of them.  The family from Perth, Western Australia, found an unusual bottle on the shore while walking along the sandy beach.

Tonya Illman loved the style of the bottle so she decided to take it home, having no clue what was inside. At first, they noticed something, reminding of a “rolled up cigarette,” then they understood it was a note that sat there for quite a long time. When they dried it up carefully in the oven and unrolled the fragile piece, they could read that a letter was tossed on June 12, 1886, from the ship named Paula.

Stunned with an extraordinary find, the Illmans handed the precious historical paper to the Western Australia Maritime Museum. As they informed, a bottle was thrown to the waves by the crew of a German vessel heading from Cardiff, Wales to Indonesia. 

According to historical logs revealed in Germany, there were hundreds of them. The bottles were the part of experiment to track the ocean currents, however, since that date 662 messages and no bottles were returned. The last one was found in Denmark in 1934. Eventually, that particular jar could be found 131 years and 223 days later! Isn’t that thrilling?

Illman commented that finding that message from the past was “the most remarkable event” in her entire life.

To think that this bottle has not been touched for nearly 132 years and is in perfect condition, despite the elements, beggars belief. I’m still shaking.

The family has loaned the hand-written note from the 19 century to the Western Australian Museum for two years, where it can be proudly displayed.

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