By Junko Ogura and Sara Spary, CNN
A glass bottle with a 1984 message washed up in Hawaii and was discovered by a 9-year-old girl – 37 years after Japanese high school students threw it into the ocean as part of an experiment.
The message in a bottle, titled “Investigating Ocean Currents,” was written by students and placed in Kuroshio Current near Miyajima Island, western Japan, as part of a project school on ocean currents.
The letter sealed inside, dated July 1984, asked whoever found the bottle to bring it back to school, Choshi High School.
The bottle finder, named in local Hawaii media as 9-year-old Abbie Graham, was on a family visit to a beach near the town of Hilo, Hawaii, when she discovered him. He had traveled some 4,350 miles.
The school said in a press release that it released 450 bottles in 1984 and another 300 in 1985 as part of its investigation of ocean currents.
So far, 51 have been found and returned. However, the school added, it is the only bottle found since 2002.
Other bottles of the experiment failed in Washington State in the United States, Canada, the Philippines and the Marshall Islands in the central Pacific.
Mayumi Kanda, a former student of the school, who was a member of the science club in 1984, said she was surprised the bottle had reappeared after so long. She said hearing the news “brought back nostalgic memories of my high school years.”
Choshi High School said its students plan to write to Abbie thanking her for returning it.
They said they would include a miniature Tairyo-bata – a type of fisherman’s flag once used to indicate a good move – with the letter as a gift.
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