A message in a bottle that is 101 years old has been found in the Baltic Sea. It is the world’s oldest message in an intact bottle that has been found to date. It was written on a postcard by a man named Richard Platz, who was 20 years old at the time, in the year 1913. The day was May 17 and Platz used a small postcard on which he wrote with an ink pen. Due to the amount of time which has passed since he first tossed the bottle in the ocean, the ink has deteriorated a great deal, and researchers will have to work on trying to decipher exactly what the message inside says.
A section of the writing on the postcard asks that whoever find the bottle return it to the home address listed on the card, which is an address in Berlin, Germany. The rest of the message, researchers hope, will be revealed over time after restoration procedures are carried out.
The bottle is currently being housed at a museum, and Platz’s granddaughter, Angela Erdmann, 62, was invited to view the bottle in which the message was found. She says she cried when she held the bottle, which has held up remarkably well considering the length of time it has been in the ocean. The bottle itself is a beer bottle, brown in color with some white marks on it. The cork Platz used to seal it protected his message through all the years it’s been bobbing in the ocean.
A fisherman found the bottle in the ocean and turned it over to the museum, who then located Erdmann. She says she was never able to meet her grandfather and thus the discovery of the bottle meant a great deal to her.
Previous to the 101 year old message in a bottle being found in the Baltic Sea, the record had been held for a message that had been written in 1914 and spent “97 years and 309 days at sea” according the Guinness Book of World Records’ website. This new message will now take that message’s place in the record books. According to International Maritime Museum spokesman Holger von Neuhoff, this find represents the oldest known message to have ever been found intact at sea. Researchers are working feverishly to determine exactly what the note says.
The message was found in Germany, and Erdmann lives in Berlin. Her grandfather was the son of a baker, but that is all that is known about his identity at this time. Researchers were able to tell, however that Platz wrote the message while enjoying a hike with a nature appreciation group. Erdmann says she is very keen on discovering as much information about her grandfather as possible, and she will most likely be working with researchers to track down her family history and genealogy.
A 101 year old message in a bottle has been found in the Baltic Sea. What might it have been like that spring day when Platz was inspired to toss that beer bottle into the ocean after penning his note and what will the rest of the message reveal?
By: Rebecca Savastio