“Mary, you really are a great person. I hope we can keep in correspondence. I said I would write,” reads the message, which was published in the Toronto Star. “Your friend always. Jonathon. Nova Scotia 1985.”
According to the AFP, the bottle traveled approximately 4,971 miles between the two points.
The bottle was discovered by Matea Rezik, who said she found it washed up on the banks of the Neretva river.
Rezik then posted a picture of the message, saying she wanted to help reunite Mary and Jonathon. Since then, people have been posting about the message across social media sites in an attempt to find out exactly who the two are, where they might live and even if they're still alive.
Of course, others have been understandably confused as to why Jonathon would attempt a correspondence via a message in a bottle dropped into the ocean.
In August 2012, an even older bottled message was discovered that had been adrift for 98 years, setting a Guinness world record. But there was little mystery about that message, as it was part of an experiment by the government of Scotland. And that bottle didn’t travel far, being discovered at a relatively close distance from where it had been deposited nearly a century before.
So how exactly did Jonathon’s bottle travel thousands of miles before ending up in a brush pile alongside a Croatian river?
The Toronto Star says that over the years, the bottle likely traveled across the Atlantic, passed through the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar and finally through the Adriatic Sea in order to reach the Neretva.
Those lengthy journeys are not entirely unheard of. In August 2011, a girl in Hawaii discovered a message in a bottle written by an Oregon boy. That message managed to travel more than 2,000 miles in a single year.
"Dear finder of my message, My name is Thomas and I live in Oregon,” the message read. “I'm ten years old and this week I'm salmon fishing deep in the ocean. I would like to hear from you."
Sure enough, Thomas Craig and Trinity Ballesteros, the then 9-year-old girl who discovered the bottle, have become pen pals.