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Bottle holds 100-year-old message: History find plucked from Baltic Sea

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For 101 years a beer bottle has churned and bobbed in the Baltic Sea protecting a message. The bottle kept that message safe through a century of storms. When a fisherman found this bottle in his net, it looked like one more useless item that was rescued from the deep over the years, but that wasn't the case. The bottle held what would become the oldest of its kind message in a bottle and it would eventually end up as a museum piece, according to USA Today on April 9.

The Baltic Sea has surrendered a piece of history, which is found in the contents of that beer bottle. No, it is not some exotic beer from the early 1900s, but a postcard that is dated, May 17, 1913.

Finding the postcard was like a piece of history coming back to life. That 100-year-old message in a bottle was put in the Baltic Sea long before a man walked on the moon, before the TV was the centerpiece in a living room and long before the Internet made the world communication-rich.

According to NPR.org, the Guinness World Book of Records had listed a 98-year-old message in a bottle as the oldest ever found up until now. Today, this latest find is thought to be the oldest message ever found floating in a bottle in the world's oceans.

The bottle was found off the shores of Kiel Germany and the International Maritime Museum now displays the bottle and its contents, which is a postcard from a man named Richard Platz. While the writing on the postcard is illegible, researchers were able to trace the man’s hometown and find his living relatives.

Platz was 20-years-old when he put the postcard in the bottle and launched it in the Baltic Sea. He died in 1946, but not much else was known about the man who put this bottle in the water a century ago. Further investigation found that he was the son of a baker. Researchers also learned that he was on a nature walk back in May of 1913 when he jotted down a message on a postcard, put it in this beer bottle and corked it. He then tossed it into the Baltic Sea.

With the help of genealogist, his granddaughter, Angela Erdmann, was located in Berlin, Germany. Erdmann visited the museum recently and she was able to hold the bottle that her grandfather let go in the ocean a century ago. The previous oldest message in a bottle was 98-years-old and Platz’s message beats this record by two years.

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