Almost everyone loves the idea of finding their own message in a bottle at some point in their lives, but for the Illman family in Perth, their find was extra special.

After the family car had got stuck in the sand on a remote beach, Kym and Tonya Illman decided to take a short walk where they then came across an old-fashioned bottle with a handwritten note inside which dated back to 1886 almost 132 years ago.

Message in a bottle

Original bottle and message found by Tonya and Kym Illman. Photo taken by Kym Illman


The note in the bottle, which was dated 12 June 1886, came originally¬†from a German ship and was jettisoned as part of an experiment into ocean and shipping routes by the German Naval Observatory. After the Illman’s took their find to the Western Australian Museum, it was then deemed to be authentic, after the original¬†Meteorological Journal from the ship was found. They discovered that an entry had been made by the captain, on the same date found on the note which indicated that a drift bottle had been thrown overboard!

Paula Ship Route Map

The bottle was thrown overboard by the German ship, Paula during a voyage from Cardiff to Makassar, Indonesia. It travelled roughly 500 nautical miles before being deposited on a beach north of Wedge Island, where it was most likely covered by sand for many years before being discovered in January 2018.


While USB2U may not offer 131-year-old messages in a bottle we do have some gorgeous looking Cork Bottle USBs which work just as well!

Cork Bottle USB 3.0 Cork Bottle USB & Pastel Box Bundle

Forget a ‘message in a bottle’, how about an accessible multi-media content in a bottle. It definitely rolls just as well off the tongue!


Cork Bottle USB