George Parker Bidder III, the founder of The Company of Biologists, was an eminent marine biologist. While working at the Marine Biological Association in Plymouth in the early 1900s, Bidder released over 1,000 bottles into the North Sea as part of his investigations into water movements (in comparison with the direction of plaice migration). The majority were trawled up by fishermen, but some of the bottles were presumed to be lost for ever.
During 2015, however, one of these bottles was found by a beach walker on the German island of Amrum. It contained instructions to report the finding to the MBA (who rewarded her with the promised shilling) and is thought to be the oldest ever ‘message in a bottle’.
Picture courtesy of The Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom.