A bottle with a message released by Japanese students 37 years ago has now been found about 6000 km away in Hawaii.
Members of the Natural Science Club at Choshi High School in Chiba, east of Tokyo, dumped 750 bottles into the sea between 1984 and 1985 to investigate ocean currents.
The bottles — which contained messages in English, Japanese and Portuguese asking the locator to call the sender — ended up as far away as the Philippines, Canada and Alaska. However, the bottle has not been found since the fiftieth was discovered in 2002 in Kagoshima, southwestern Japan.
Now, bottle number 51 was found in June by a nine-year-old girl on a Hawaiian beach.
“I was really surprised,” Jun Hayashi, deputy principal of Chushi High School, told AFP. “The 50th bottle was found 19 years ago. I didn’t think more had been found – I thought they would all sink now. It’s really exciting to find bottle 51.”
The club that released the bottles closed in 2007. However, two student representatives plan to send a letter and a miniature flag to the girl who found the bottle.
Mayumi Kondo, a 1984 member of the Natural Science Club, said the discovery “revived nostalgic memories” from his student days. “Thirty-seven years is a long time for humans, but on the other hand, it really shows how big and mysterious the land and nature are,” he said.
“Hardcore alcohol maven. Hipster-friendly analyst. Introvert. Devoted social media advocate.”