#Science Pays as Promised for #MessageInABottle – a #Poem by Kate Rauner

Message in a Bottle

A new bottle begins its voyage

A new bottle begins its voyage

It left the English coast
To bump along the depths
Of the cold North Sea,
On its currents swept.

Dodging bottom trawlers,
Escaping Porpoise play,
Through Zooplankton and over Prawns
It drifted on its way.

Between the Squid and drilling rigs,
Endangered Sturgeons, Rays,
Much depleted Skates and Salmon,
Watched it float away.

A century it voyaged,
Gray Whales disappeared.
Herring still, in schools abound.
Cod endangered here.

Until the bottle found a beach
Upon a German shore.
The message said ‘return to me’
And promised a reward.

The scientist who sent it,
Dead a century and more,
But the group that he once headed
Is British to its core.

To find the shilling coin,
They had to search eBay.
The bottle was returned
So the promised fee was paid.

Thanks to nationalgeographic.com.

Once the only way to chart currents was to throw bottles into the ocean with messages begging they be returned. George_Parker_Bidder of Britain’s Marine Biological Association (MBA) dropped 1,020 weighted bottles into the southern North Sea between 1904 and 1906 and got half of them back within four years. Over 100 years later, a woman found one of his bottles on a beach on Amrum Island, Germany, and mailed the requested information to MBA.

Not only does the Association still exist, but they found a proper shilling to pay as promised.

Gotta love British scientists.

Alas, the sea life is very different today from when the bottle began its voyage.


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