A message found inside of a bottle on an Australian beach is dated June 12, 1886, making the note the world’s oldest known message.
The 132-year-old note was found by Tonya Illman in January. She had stumbled upon the bottle while on a beach and picked it up thinking it would make a great addition to her home, according to The Guardian.
However, within the bottle was a note written in German that had been thrown into the ocean from the German ship, Paula.
Reports say thousands of bottles had been thrown overboard from ships during that time in order to indicate the currents of the ocean.
The message — which included the ship’s coordinates, date and name — asked for the finder to report back where and when the bottle was found, along with a description of the bottle’s condition, and to return it to the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg or the nearest German consulate.
The authenticity of the note was confirmed by the Western Australian Museum by examining the writing in the message and cross-referencing it with the handwriting in the captain’s entries found in maritime records.
According to the Independent, the previous world record for the world’s oldest known message in a bottle was 108 years.
The bottle and message are on display at the Western Australian Museum.
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