A bottle that had traveled the ocean and had probably been covered by sand on a Western Australia beach for more than a century was finally found in January 2018. The bottle contained a message dated 12 June 1886, making it the oldest such missive ever discovered. Tonya Illman was walking on the beach near Wedge Island when she spotted the bottle and found a faded and fraying 132-year-old piece of paper inside. The Illmans put it in the oven at home to remove the moisture, then unraveled it and were able to read a very faint message asking the finder to contact the German consulate. It turns out that the message came from a German ship named Paula, which was testing shipping routes in the Indian Ocean at the time, en route from Wales to the Dutch East Indies.
What else is hiding under the waves:
- The world's oceans are believed to be hiding the wreckage of approximately three million undiscovered ships.
- Besides being big enough to hide a mythical monster, Scotland's Loch Ness is apparently big enough to hold the Earth's entire population, ten times over, if it was drained of water.
- Much of the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria was hidden underwater for nearly 1,600 years before being rediscovered in the late 1990s.