Discovery made by a local girl comes decades after the bottle was put into the sea by schoolchildren as part of an experiment to monitor ocean currents
The glass bottle was found in June and arrived back at the Choshi High School in Japan in September. Photograph: Alamy
The Guardian- Guardian staff
A glass bottle that was released into the sea 37 years ago by high school students in Japan has been found on the island of Hawaii, about 6,000km away.
Students of the natural science club at Choshi High School in the eastern prefecture of Chiba released the bottle in 1984 as part of a project to investigate ocean currents, Japanese newspaper Mainichi reported.
In all, 750 bottles were placed into the ocean near Tokyo’s Miyakejima Island in 1984 and 1985.
The most recent was found in 2002 on Kikaijima Island in southwest Japan’s Kagoshima prefecture. Then in June, nine-year-old Abbie Graham found the bottle on a rocky beach in Hawaiian Paradise Park. Inside were contact forms in Japanese, English and Portuguese explaining it had been released off the coast of Choshi, and asking the finder to contact the school.
Abbie sent the contact forms back to Choshi High School, along with a drawing of her and her sister eating sushi, in early September.
Vice principal Jun Hayashi said at a briefing on 15 September: “We thought the last one was found in Kikaijima. We never imagined another would be found 37 years on.”
Since 1985, bottles released by the school have been found in 17 places including Okinawa, the Philippines, China and the west coast of the US.
Mayumi Kanda, 54, a member of the natural science club in 1984, said: “I was surprised, it revived nostalgic memories of my high school days. I thank those involved.”
Abbie also enjoyed the experience. She told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald: “I want to go look to find another one.”