Woman Receives Reply 37 Years After Sending A Message In A Bottle
A message in a bottle was found 37 years after it first set sail at sea, and a 9-year-old girl has since replied to its original senders.
Abbie Graham, from Keaau, Hawaii, had been visiting Paradise Park with her family in June when she came across the bottle.
Within it, Abbie found letters from a Japanese high school that had been sent more 37 years ago from more than 4,000 miles away. Earlier this month, she decided to reply.
The letters, written in English, Spanish and Japanese, requested that whoever found the bottle write back to the Choshi High School Science Club, located east of Tokyo in Chiba Prefecture.
While she could have got in contact via social media, Graham sent a letter back earlier this month in response to the bottle’s messages. Within her response, she drew a picture of her and her sister eating sushi.
Jun Hayashi, vice principal of Choshi High School, told VICE World News how delighted the students were to receive a response. ‘Though the high schoolers at the time have since graduated, it’s nonetheless been fun for current students,’ Hayashi said.
Mayumi Kanda, now 54 years old, wrote one of the original messages in the bottle and was contacted by the school when they received Graham’s reply, VICE reported.
On Wednesday, during a press conference, Kanda said how the response to her message brought back ‘a lot of nostalgic memories’ of being a high school student.
‘I’m very thankful to the girl who picked up the bottle, to my old high school for organising this project, and to everyone involved,’ she said.
As part of the bottle-sending school activity, 750 bottles set sail at sea back in the 1980s. The experiment predicted that they would be carried north and east by the Kuroshio, which is the Pacific version of the Atlantic’s Gulf Stream.
However, the bottles suddenly stopped being discovered.
Hayashi said that since 2002, the school hasn’t been aware of any new discoveries.
According to VICE, the oldest-known message in a bottle was found in 2019 on a beach in Western Australia, and was a whopping 132 years old.
It was dated on June 12, 1886, and the BBC reported that it had come from the German Naval Observatory, which had been testing German shipping routes.
Choshi High School has since stopped its experiment of sending messages via bottle over concerns around factors such as polluting the oceans.
Bottles are viewed as adding to marine pollution, with materials such as glass being difficult to break down, according to ocean conservationists. VICE also reported that the caps can pose risks to seabirds’ health.
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