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Australians find message in German after 132 years

Australians find message in German after 132 years

Mrs Illman and her husband Kym placed the note in an oven to dry it out before unravelling it to reveal a set of coordinates and a date of 12 June 1886.

The bottle's history dates back to a German ship sailing across the Indian Ocean on June 12, 1886, The Guardian reported.

A closer view revealed that the paper inside the old gin bottle had a message written in German.

Each bottled message contained its corresponding ship's coordinates, the date it was tossed and the name of the ship.

Instead, it turned out to be what she called a "lovely old bottle", and she yanked it out of the sand to bring home to display on her bookcase.

German authorities said the bottle was one of thousands thrown overboard during a 69-year-long oceanographic experiment to research global ocean currents and discover more efficient shipping routes.

The family handed over the note to the Western Australian Museum, where assistant curator of maritime archaeology Ross Anderson contacted colleagues in the Netherlands and Germany for assistance.

Del Borrow looked inside the bottle and saw what she thought was a cigarette, but discovered it was a damp, tightly-rolled note tied with string.

Australians find message in German after 132 years

Illman explained: "We took it home and dried it out, and when we opened it we saw it was a printed form, in German, with very faint German handwriting on it".

On the back, the finder was asked to write when and where the bottle had been found and return it, either to the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg or the nearest German consulate.

To date only 662 of those messages have been returned but none of the bottles, with the last one found in Denmark in 1934.

The previous Guinness world record for the oldest message in a bottle was just over 108 years after it was released by the UK's Marine Biological Association in the North Sea on 30 November 1906 to be washed at Amrum Island, Germany, on 17 April 2015.

Experts have confirmed it is an authentic message from a German ship.

Tonya Illman told the reporters that she was on vacation with Kym Illman, her husband when they've stumbled upon a most curious trinket.

"To think that this bottle has not been touched for almost 132 years and is in ideal condition, despite the elements, beggars belief".

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