Oldest message in a bottle found on Australia beach after 132 years

AUSTRALIA (KTRK) -- A woman on a beach in Western Australia found the world's oldest message in a bottle after it was thrown into the sea nearly 132 years ago, experts say.

Tony Illman discovered the bottle north of Wedge Island near the state capital Perth.

The message, dated 12 June 1886, was thrown into the Indian Ocean from the German sailing barque Paula, which was en route from Cardiff, Wales, to the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).

The bottle was one of thousands thrown into oceans as part of a 69-year-long German experiment on global currents to find faster shipping routes, the Western Australia Museum said.

Until now, the previous world record for the oldest message in a bottle was 108 years, four months and 18 days from the time it was jettisoned until its discovery, according to the museum.

Experts in Germany and Australia have confirmed the authenticity of the find.

Illman found the bottle near her son's car which she thought would make a nice decorative piece.

After her son's girlfriend opened it, they found a damp note rolled tightly and wrapped in string.

The family took the note home, dried it and opened it to see a printed form, in German, with German handwriting.

The Illmans took their find to the museum which established the bottle was a 19th Century Dutch gin bottle, the paper and coloration were consistent with 19th Century paper, and the German barque Paula sailed from Cardiff to Makassar in 1886.
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