London, Aug 21: A message in a bottle that a retired post office worker found while on holiday on the German island of Amrum has turned out to be the oldest of its kind, media reports said.
The bottle was thrown into the sea 108 years ago by British scientists, Telegraph.co.uk reported.
When Marianne Winkler found the message in April, she had no idea how old it would turn out to be.
"It is always a joy to find a message-in-a-bottle on the beach," she told the Amrum News, a local website.
As they could not open the bottle they had to break the bottle.
They found a message promising a reward of a shilling to anyone who returned the bottle.
The message, in English, German and Dutch, asked anyone who discovered the bottle to fill in some information on where and how they found it.
The return address was the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth, Britain.
It turned out that the bottle was one of 1,020 released into the sea between 1904 and 1906 by George Parker Bidder, former president of the association.
Designed specially to float just above the sea bed, so they would be carried by the currents deep below the surface, Bidder released the bottles as part of a project to find out about deep sea currents.
For returning the bottle, the couple got the promised payment a shilling. But they are waiting for the Guinness World Records to confirm if it is the oldest message in a bottle ever to be found.
A bottle found after 99 years is believed to be the current record holder.