A message in a bottle can make friends out of strangers, lovers out of the lonely, or even give the dead a final chance to speak. Messages in bottles prove that people from different backgrounds can get along, if given the chance. (Click here if you are looking for my blog of current stories & mysteries you can help solve, and click here to read about the 1985 Cole Harbour Nova Scotia message in a bottle 🙂 )
People have been sending messages in bottles for centuries for all kinds of reasons. Some seek love, friendship, or scientific data about ocean currents, and others hope to raise awareness about plastic pollution. Some send messages in bottles as jokes or hoaxes, and still others send them in memory of lost loved ones. Many of the oldest messages in bottles were sent out of simple curiosity by regular people.
The reasons go on, but the impulse is always the same: To reach out in hopes of making a meaningful human connection. Today, maybe more than ever, we need these powerful reminders that we all have more in common than we think. The power of a message in a bottle to make friends out of total strangers is the closest to magic we can get.
Over the years, writers, musicians, and all kinds of artists have tapped into that power. Sting’s song harnesses the desire to connect in a disconnected world where what we have in common is loneliness. Nicholas Sparks’s book taps into the romantic potential of bottled notes as well as their use in commemorating lost loved ones. Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Dickens wrote popular stories about messages in bottles that are driven by their otherworldly power to connect people in the unlikeliest ways. For some reason, messages in bottles just drive us wild!
Hooked by a Message in a Bottle
As for me, I found my first message in a bottle in 2007, and was immediately hooked. Since then, I have found over 80 more, traveled to meet the senders in person, and spent years researching the history of messages in bottles. I have learned how people send messages in bottles, and even why they send them. This site shares what I have found.
I have learned about some amazing messages in bottles over the years, including strange hoaxes and a whole slew of myths about bottled notes. Today, many of the hoaxes and myths continue to be circulated online–even by reputable sources like NOAA and National Geographic–that is how powerful messages in bottles are. Messages in bottles feel so close to magic, and the hoaxes and myths just seem so…well…cool. We want them to be true. Which is another interesting thing about messages in bottles: they highlight the way that us humans will believe something to be true whether or not there is evidence. These little bottled notes are powerful–every bit as intoxicating as the spirits they held before they became time capsules. And I’m hooked.
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