- Tonya Illman
- 131, 223 year(s):day(s)
- Australia (Wedge Island)
The oldest message in a bottle is 131 years and 223 days old (released 12 June 1886), and was found by Tonya and Kym Illman (both Australia) at Wedge Island, Australia, on 21 January 2018.
On June 12th 1886 a gin bottle (Daniel Visser and Zonen Schiedam) was thrown overboard by German captains from the Barque Paula (home port Elsfleth). It contained a printed note with the date, coordinates (32.49 South, 105.25 East), ship/captain details and departure and arrival port written in ink. The note, from the Deutsche Seewarte in Hamburg, asked the finder to send the note to them or the nearest German embassy noting the time and place of the find.
The age of the bottle was authenticated by German Hydrographic Agency and the Western Australian Museum.
According to officials at the Western Australian Museum, German captains threw thousands of bottles overboard between 1964 and 1933 as part of a research project into currents and shipping routes.