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Japanese high schoolers sent out a message in a bottle 37 years ago. It just turned up in Hawaii.

Insider Asia logo Insider Asia 17/9/2021 insider@insider.com (Cheryl Teh)
The bottle was one of 750 bottles released into the sea near Tokyo's Miyakejima island from 1984 to 1985. © Hans Barten/Getty Images © Hans Barten/Getty Images The bottle was one of 750 bottles released into the sea near Tokyo's Miyakejima island from 1984 to 1985. © Hans Barten/Getty Images
  • Japanese high schoolers dropped 37 bottles into the sea near Toyko in 1984.
  • One of those bottles just turned up in Hawaii, more than 3,700 miles from its origin point.
  • The bottles have been found in 17 places, including the Philippines, China, and America's west coast.

High schoolers in Japan placed rolled-up pieces of paper in glass bottles 37 years ago and sent them out to sea. This month, one of the bottles was found in Hawaii, more than 3,700 miles away.

The bottle was found by 9-year-old Abbie Graham, who picked it up on a beach in Hawaii's Paradise Park, per the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Graham spotted a contact form in the bottle with information written in multiple languages, including Japanese and English, per the Tribune-Herald. The letter explained the bottle's origins and appealed to whoever found it to contact the Choshi High School, located in the eastern Japanese prefecture of Chiba.

So Graham mailed the contact forms back to Choshi High, along with a drawing of herself and her sister eating sushi.

"I want to go look to find another one," Graham told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

The messages in bottles were part of a science experiment to study the ocean's currents conducted by students at Choshi High, per Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shimbun. The news outlet reported that 750 bottles were placed in the waters off Miyakejima Island, an island near Tokyo, from 1984 to 1985.

Fifty of the bottles have been discovered over the years in the Japanese prefectures of Okinawa, Akita, and Kyoto, per Japanese news outlet Yomiuri Shimbun. Some were also found on beaches in the Philippines, China, and along America's west coast. But the last time one of Choshi High School's bottles was found was in 2002, on the southern Japanese island of Kikaijima.

"We thought the last one was found in Kikaijima. We never imagined another would be found 37 years on," Choshi High School vice principal Jun Hayashi said to the Mainichi Shimbun.

The discovery hit alumni of Choshi High School's science club with a wave of nostalgia. Mayumi Kanda, 54, a member of Choshi High's 1984 science club, thanked everyone involved for finding the bottle close to four decades after it was sent out to sea.

"I was surprised, it revived nostalgic memories of my high school days," she told the Mainichi Shimbun.

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