Arctic Explorers Find 54-Year-Old Message in a Bottle

By Gerald Lynch on at

The romance of a message in a bottle is an enduring one, the feeling of casting your thoughts and hopes out into the unknown in a vessel as fragile as the dreams themselves. It's a near miracle then that a message left more than 50 years ago in one of the world's most inhospitable regions has survived, let alone been found.

That's what's happened out in the Arctic's Ward Hunt island, off the most northern island-coastal point of Canada. Nestled between a small pile of rocks has been found a message left by late geologist Paul T. Walker, dated 1959.

Walker, an American, was working on the site 54 years ago. His message requests that anyone who finds his bottle measure the distance between the cairn it was found within and another small man-made pile of rocks nearby. In 1959 that distance measured 1.5 metres, but by 2013 the research team found it had grown to 101.5 metres as the glaciers surrounding it shifted and melted. Walker's letter requested he be sent the information but, dying just aged 25 a few short months after leaving the letter, that request was never to be fulfilled.

Continuing the romantic saga of the bottle, the modern-day discoverers of Walker's note returned the bottle (with Walker's original message inside) to the place where they found it, adding a new, secret message of their own at the same time. [CBC via SlashGear]

Top Image Credit: Pressure ridge and melt water at the Geographic North Pole from Shutterstock.com