It’s not every day that you find a message in a bottle, let alone one that contributes to a 132-year-old scientific experiment that began half-a-world away. Yet that is exactly what Tonya Illman discovered while walking along a Western Australia beach in January.
Illman spotted the glass bottle half buried in the sand and thought it would look good as a piece of house decoration. On the drive home Illman’s son’s girlfriend noticed that there was a piece of paper inside the uncorked bottle. Rather than risk damaging the paper, the family rushed home and heated in the oven what they quickly realized was a very old note.