BERLIN – A fisherman pulled what is believed to be the world’s oldest message in a bottle from the Baltic Sea last month.
According to the French news agency Agence France-Presse, the bottle was found in the sea off the northern German city of Kiel.
Much of the message is illegible after years of exposure to the dampness.
However, after handwriting comparisons, Richard Platz was identified as the author of the message. He reportedly wrote a message on a postcard in 1913 when he was 20-years-old before tossing it into the sea while on a nature hike along Germany’s Baltic Coast.
NPR says a Berlin-based genealogical researcher has located Platz’s granddaughter, 62-year-old Angela Erdmann. Erdmann says she never met Platz. He died in 1946 at age 54.
Erdmann visited the International Maritime Museum in Hamburg last week where she was able to hold the bottle.
Holger von Neuhoff from the museum told AFP, “This is certainly the first time such an old message in a bottle was found, particularly with the bottle intact.”
The bottle will be on display at the museum until May 1st.