The world’s oldest paper message in a bottle, from 97 years ago, has been found by a fisherman off the coast of India with a postcard promising a reward to its finder.
“It was just a normal day and we were out fishing for monkfish,” Andrew Leaper, 43, who captained the boat, Copious, said in the statement.
Guinness World Records confirmed the April 12 discovery by the Shetland Islands fishing boat, the Scottish Government in Edinburgh said in a statement Friday.
“As we hauled in the nets, with a mixed catch of monks, megrim and cod, I spotted the bottle neck sticking out of the cod end of the net. I quickly grabbed the bottle before it fell back in the sea.”
It was released to the waters on June 10, 1914, by the Glasgow School of Navigation, one of a batch of 1,890 scientific research bottles designed to float close to the seabed. The location of the returned items allowed researchers to map the undercurrents of the seas around Scotland.
So far, 315 have been found, each containing a note asking the finder to record the date and place of the discovery and return it for a reward of sixpence.
One of those discoveries was actually made on the same boat where Leaper found his bottle.
His friend Mark Anderson found one while on board the Copius in 2006, setting the previously “World’s Oldest Message” standing Guinness World Record.
“It was an amazing coincidence,” Leaper said, according to STV News. “It’s like winning the lottery twice.”