Before he died, a 27-year-old left a message in a bottle, and it can teach us something about climate change
In 1959, 27-year-old Paul Walker — no relation to the Fast and the Furious guy, silly — left a message in a bottle. Six months later, he was dead.
The note wasn’t cast into the ocean, and Walker wasn’t sendin’ out an SOS to a long-lost love. He was a geologist, and he left the bottle under some rocks 168 feet away from a glacier in the Arctic. The note asks whoever finds it to measure how far away the glacier is now — to see how much it shrank from the warming climate — and report back to Walker. Sadly, he had a brain seizure a month after writing the note and died in a hospital months later. He never got to learn what became of his message:
Canadian biologist Warwick Vincent found the note this summer — more than 50 years later — and just went public with the news last week. The scary part? The glacier is now more than 400 feet away from the bottle, meaning the glacier shrunk 233 feet.
The note was one of the last things Walker wrote before his untimely death. (Were he alive, he’d be 81.) What became of it?
After anchoring it down with rocks for a photo, it was reinserted into the bottle, along with a new message asking the person who finds it to re-measure the distance to the glacier and report back to the research team.
So if you find it … you know what to do.