World's oldest known message in a bottle found near Perth, Australia

The world's oldest known message in a bottle has been found washed up on a remote beach in Western Australia.

Message written in German was launched in 1886 to study currents and shipping routes

Tonya Illman, the woman from Perth who found the bottle, said she was surprised to find the scroll intact without a cap on the bottle. It's believed the bottle was buried under sand dunes all these years before it was uncovered by high winds from a cyclone. (Kym Illman/YouTube)

The world's oldest known message in a bottle has been found washed up on a remote beach in Western Australia.

Perth resident Tonya Illman stumbled upon the bottle half-buried on a beach near Wedge Island in January while picking up rubbish.

The bottle's origin was traced to Germany where a series of experiments spanning 69 years saw thousands of bottles flung into the ocean to better understand currents and uncover more efficient shipping routes.

This bottle had been launched from the German barque "Paula" in 1886.

It contained a form on which the captain had written the date, the co-ordinates and the name of the ship.

The person who found the bottle was then asked to write where and when it was found and then instructions to send it back to the German Naval Observatory in Hamburg or the nearest German consulate.

The find has been authenticated by the Western Australian Museum and by comparing the handwriting on the note with the ship's meteorological journal, which showed a match with the Paula's captain.