Topic: Education

Bottled message: From Atlantic Ocean to Scotland's Tiree Isle

By Mānia Clarke

​One of two bottles with GPS tracking that sailed over 1000km across the Atlantic ocean has washed up on Scotland's Isle of Tiree shore. 

The bottles were floated in Iceland's south-west sea a year ago, as part of a scientific experiment, which sailed past Greenland and Canada before it was found this week.

With the island open to the Atlantic Ocean there are many items that wash up on the shores of Tiree every year.

Last January, Ævar Þór Benediktsson, an Iceland scientist and tv personality put two bottles into the sea with GPS trackers.

Benediktsson says many kids have tried throwing bottles with messages in them into the sea and some of them never reach shore again.

"I wanted to showcase that if you throw something in the sea like garbage, anything, it doesn't disappear.  So we have to be very careful about what we do."

On the 17th January this year the first of these bottles came ashore at Miodar on Tiree and was found by Rhoda Meek.

"There is a message inside the bottle with the words "Message in a bottle scientific project," said Meek. 

"I don't know what I'll do with it but I'll take it home and get in touch with the person (who sent the bottle)."

The scientists had expected the bottle to float to Norway but it took an unexpected route.

"GPS trackers put in the bottle are usually used when tracking birds and bird movements, now we've seen that you can use this for all sorts of projects," said Benediktsson.

Rhoda Meek will return the bottle back to Iceland where its stories and experiences will be uncovered by Ævar and other scientists.