What were you doing nine years ago, and where were you? So much has happened and changed since then, it’s hard to imagine that moment coming alive all over again nearly a decade later, right? Hard to image, but not impossible! Not even if it means traversing a distance of 6,000 kilometers (over 3,700 miles).
Bottle Retrieved In France
On October 10, 2019, G. Dubois was on a beach between Contis and Mimizan, France. The beach was along the Bay of Biscay in the north-eastern Atlantic Ocean. While on that beach, Dubois found a bottle. Interesting, yes, but not much more than that.
What Dubois found inside that bottle, however, was incredible. Folded and inserted into the bottle was a handwritten note dated August 21, 2010. The note read:
hello my name is Max. Who ever is reading this letter Please write back at…I’ll tell you a little bit about my self. Im 10 years old, I like apples, I Like the beach, My favorite colors blue, I like animals, I like cars, and I like outer space. Please write back.
Sincerly, Max Vrendenburgh
Tossed Into the Ocean In Massachusetts
Max threw that letter into the water on a beach in Rockport, Massachusetts, in the U.S. Did you catch the date? Max put that letter inside a bottle that he tossed into the water in Rockport, Massachusetts, in August 2010. Nine years later, it was found 6,000 kilometers away on a beach in France. The Atlantic Ocean covers over 41,000,000 square miles and roughly 20 percent of the surface of the Earth. But the letter in that bottle made its way from Max to Dubois over nine years. Even if it ended there, what a story.
But the story didn’t end there. After all, nine-year-old Max asked anyone who found the letter in his bottle to write back. So, Dubois did. On October 15, 2019, Dubois wrote this letter to a now 19-year-old Max:
I found your message in your bottle on October 10, 2019 on a beach in France, between Contis and Mimizan.
According to your date, August 21, 2009, it will have taken 9 years to cover the 6000kms that separates us.
You had grown a lot during that time: 10 to 19 years old.
I put you some maps below to locate you
Communication technologies have come a long way since messages-in-bottles and even transatlantic letter mail. Max tweeted out Dubois’ message and a Twitter-sized version of the story on November 8, 2019. It’s been re-tweeted over 140,000 times and has been “loved” over half a million times. What’s not to love about this implausible story? After exchanging letters nine years apart, Max and Dubois connected and chatted through Instagram too.
Nine years and 6,000 kilometers are incredible, but those aren’t records as far as messages in bottles are concerned. Australians Tonya and Kym Illman picked up a bottle while walking on sand dunes in Western Australia in 2018. The bottle contained what looked like a rolled-up cigarette, but turned out to be a note. The note was dropped into the ocean from a German Ship in June 1886. It was dropped as part of an experiment by the German Naval Observatory into ocean and shipping routes. It was found 132 years later. It’s a cool story, to be sure, but pales somehow compared to the decades-apart exchange of letters between Max and Dubois. For centuries, people have tossed messages into the ocean. Finding them makes for incredible stories.
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