After a bottled message, sent from off the coast of Maine, floated for two years across the Atlantic Ocean, a fisherman in Spain found it, according to ABC News.
The message was sent, with ten others, by then-twelve-year-old Terra Gallo, who was curious to see where the bottles would turn up, according to ABC News. Gallo and her family had forgotten about the messages until they received a letter from the person who found the bottle.
One of the earliest known messages in a bottle was sent around 310 B.C. by a Greek philosopher named Theophrastus, who was testing his hypothesis that the Atlantic Ocean flowed into the Mediterranean Sea, according to New York Magazine.
Jennifer Williams, a senior studying special education, said she had never considered sending a message in a bottle before.
“For me, a message in a bottle would take too long,” Williams said. “Especially when you can text or call someone.”
Ryan Hales, a faculty member in the English department, said he thought writing messages in a bottle provided an interesting contrast from the way people normally communicate today.
“In so much of our communication, the messages are tailored depending on the sender and the receiver,” Hales said. “But with a message in a bottle, the message isn’t framed in the context that we’re used to.”
He said it would be interesting to write a message not knowing who your audience is but, at the same time, it would be nice to be able to communicate to them on such a personal, human level.
“I would give them a sense of where the message is coming from,” Hales said. “It would be a message of connection, recognizing that I’m an individual who is a real person, just reaching out to another person in good will, extending an element of connection.”
Gallo put her mother’s P.O. Box address inside the bottle, along with the note, just in case the message ended up in the hands of someone who was willing to respond, according to ABC News. She never expected to receive a response from someone 3,200 miles away.
“I am a private person, so I would never put my address in a bottle for a stranger to find,” Williams said.
Sarah Broyles, a senior studying theatre design and technology, said that if she were to send a message in a bottle, it would say either “Don’t worry — you’ll make it, or “I’m watching you.”
“I would probably put some sort of life advice on it followed by a pun,” said Sophie Romero, a freshman studying elementary education. “Something completely cheesy and cliché. Those things make people happy.”
The world’s oldest known message in a bottle took over a century to be discovered, according to The New York Times. It had been sent between the years of 1904 and 1906, making it about 108 years old when it was discovered by a German woman on vacation in 2015.
“Happy are they who take life day by day, complain very little and are thankful for the little things in life,” Romero said that would be what she would write.
Throwing a bottle with a message into the ocean could be considered littering in the eyes of some environmentalists, according to The New York Times.
Williams said sending out a message in a bottle, would not be considered littering, in her opinion.
“I think of littering as someone throwing garbage in the ocean because they don’t want to take the extra time to find a trash can,” she said. “But a message in a bottle is thought-out, and there is something sweet about it.”