Who hasn’t dreamed of finding a message in a bottle?
There is something so fascinating about finding a mysterious bottle with a message penned by a complete stranger years before. Movies have certainly helped us to yearn for such a moment to occur in our lives and in fact there was actually a movie based on a such. “Message in a Bottle,” came out in 1999 and involved two strangers who were connected due to a mysterious love letter that was penned and placed in a bottle years before. As to be expected, the woman who stumbled upon the bottle made it her mission to track down the author, and soon the two were falling in love.
Sounds like quite the fantasy right?
Well, a similar scene unfolded recently…minus the romance of course.
A young man by the name of Ryan Burchett was relaxing on the beach one day when a bottle stumbled onto the shore. He noticed it when he had been searching for seashells. At first he thought it was just another piece of trash, but upon closer inspection he realized that the bottle had a hand-written message inside it, dating back to 1981. The message was authored by Douglas Stephens, who had been just 20-years-old at the time he launched the bottle into the ocean.
The message said the following…
“To the finder, I would appreciate it if you would respond, as to where when and found by whom.”
Along with message was the permanent address of Douglas Stephens.
Believe it or not, neither of the men had Facebook accounts but Ryan still managed to track Douglas down with the help of friends who had accounts.
Luckily, social media was able to help Ryan track Douglas down so the two could meet up and discuss the message that had been written so long ago. Ryan will give the bottle back to Douglas when they meet in person for the first time in a few months.
Douglas’s one complaint was the fact that the bottle didn’t get very far, considering he lived in Florida at the time and it only made its way to Georgia after such a long period of time. The beach where Ryan found the bottle was only 50 miles up the coast.
“I guess the stunning part of this is the number of years it has been out there before someone found it,” said Douglas. “I haven’t really thought that much about what it means to me other than it brings back great childhood memories of the beach.”
Commenters weighed in on Douglas’s disappointment in the lack of distance the bottle traveled…
“To be fair, just because something is found fifty miles from where you threw it does not mean it did not travel around the world. An average object thrown into the ocean will circulate the world once every five years on average. So that object could easily have gone around seven times. And once every five years on average would be almost perfect timing for the object to be near where you would have thrown it at the time, due to the five-year cycle it would have gone through.”