Steve Thurber was walking down the coast in Tofino, British Columbia, Monday when he spotted an old bottle just lying in the sand. It was still sealed and had, clearly visible within, a bit of paper. Thurber hasn't opened or broken the bottle, but he's been able to make out through the glass that it carries the date September 29, 1906, and the signature of one Earl Willard, who was sailing from San Francisco to Bellingham on an ocean steamer, the Global News reports.
Thurber believes, based on online records searches, that it's the oldest message in a bottle in the world; the previous oldest known example dates to 1914. (We previously reported on one from 1915.) "Maybe there was only one [bottle] that guy sent out, and I found it," he marvels. "It is like one in a billion chances." (This story takes the cake for the most heart-tugging message-in-bottle find.)