Message in a bottle
The custom of throwing a bottle into the sea with put in it note, which tells about the loss of the vessel or the fate of the shipwrecked, is very ancient (at least, with the invention of the glass bottle). In a world of email, Facebook and Skype there are people who prefer this ancient method of communication – Message in a bottle. 58-year-old Harold Hackett has spent two decades throwing bottles containing messages into the Atlantic in the hope that he may be able to contact people from far off shores. In that time he has sent out around 4,800 bottles from near his home on Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Harold Hackett is the original social networker, the hobby began with a glass Pepsi bottle that Hackett threw overboard while fishing. That first bottle simply included a name and address and requested a response. After receiving his first letter in reply, his hobby was off and running. But written responses aren’t the only thing that Hackett receives in return. In many cases, he strikes up friendships with the people he hears back from. Hackett typically receives 150 Christmas cards from the people he’s contacted by bottle each year.
Some of the letters he’s sent out have potentially been at sea for decades. In his interview with the BBC, he displays letters from the places like Ireland and Norway that took 10 or 11 years to reach him.
Among the many types of mail to send a letter in the bottle is called “bottle-mail”, or Neptune mail. It is said that its inventor was a Greek scientist living on the shores of the Mediterranean 300 years BC. To show people his assumption that the water flows into the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean, he threw from the Gibraltar into the ocean a few empty vessels sealed with notes. One in three months was found on the shore of the island of Sicily.
From time to time radio, telegraph and the press alert mankind of the sensational discovery of letters, wills, certificates and messages found in bottles that are on the beach or in the sea. The oldest message in a bottle listed by Guinness World Records was found in 2012 – 97 years after it was sent.
Having come down to us from immemorial time, this postal method reliably serve the people today. In addition to scientists – oceanographers, meteorologists and ichthyologists studying ocean currents, they are sometimes used as a means of conveying messages.
“Message in bottle found 101 years on after fisherman pulls it from the sea” – the article published by Daily Mail Reporter, 8 March 2014.
A message in a bottle has been pulled from the sea by fishermen a record-breaking 101 years after it was sent. A German called Richard Platz scribbled his note to the world on May 17, 1913 – one year before the First World War, in which he died. It was a postcard from Denmark with two German stamps on it and a message asking the finder ‘to post it on to my address in Berlin’. More than a century on, it was found by a crew from the north German port of Heikendorf, near Kiel. ‘When I saw the date I got really excited,’ said skipper Konrad Fischer.