In 1984 and 1985, students from the natural science club at Choshi High School in the eastern prefecture of Chiba in Japan released 750 glass bottles into the ocean as part of a project to investigate ocean currents.
This past June, 37 years later, nine-year-old Abbie Graham discovered one of these bottles while on a rocky beach in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Inside, the bottle contained contact forms in Japanese, English, and Portuguese, explaining that the bottle had been released off the coast of Choshi and requesting that whoever finds it contacts the school.
The last bottle was found in 2002 on Kikaijima Island in southwest Japan’s Kagoshima prefecture, almost two decades before Abbie stumbled upon another one.
Abbie followed the instructions and earlier this month sent the contact forms, as well as a drawing of herself and her sister eating sushi, back to Choshi High School where Jun Hayashi, vice-principal of the school, was happy to receive them.
“We thought the last one was found in Kikaijima. We never imagined another would be found 37 years on,” the vice-principal said.
Since the bottles were released, they’ve been discovered in 17 places including Okinawa, the Philippines, China, and the west coast of the US.
One of the original members of the natural science club in 1984, 54-year-old Mayumi Kanda said: “I was surprised, it revived nostalgic memories of my high school days. I thank those involved.”
Abbie, excited by the experience, is determined to find another one.