Second GPS Tracking Message in the Bottle Washed Up on Shore

27 Jun 2017

Scientists in Iceland released a “message in a bottle” that has now just washed up after traveling across the Atlantic Ocean for thousands of miles in the Faroe Islands.

This “message in a bottle”, along with another one, was fitted with a GPS tracker last year in southern Iceland dropped into the sea from a helicopter.

One was found in January on Tiree while the other in Faroese Island of Sandoy. Scientists released the two bottles simultaneously in the beginning of their “marine pollution” experiment. They both floated west towards Canada after passing the Greenland coast before they went east. It looked like the second bottle would end up back on the Iceland shores before it headed in the Shetland direction and then drifted back to the Faroes.

Each device was part of a science experiment scientists set up for testing where marine litter ends up. The public could track the path of the devices through an Icelandic TV science program website which the public had access to.

The point of the experiment was to show how discarded litter and rubbish dropped in the sea doesn’t go away but rather becomes an issue for people who live on coastlines and other areas in the world.

It was on Saturday that Tórshavn residents found the message in a bottle as it

They had been tracking the bottle online through its GPS tracker. They had then grabbed a ferry headed to Sandoy the next Sunday morning hoping to reach the bottle on the Húsavík beach.

Ævar Þór Benediktsson, an Icelandic scientist involved in this research, said a big influence of where the bottles ended up was the winds.

He pointed out that the experiment showed that litter thrown into the sea doesn’t just disappear, it takes a journey. For this particular bottle, it was an 18,000km-long journey.

Benefits of GPS Tracking

People are now able to use GPS tracking devices to locate and track a number of things such as a vehicle, bike and other personal belongings or even a whole fleet of trucks. Just like with this particular “message in a bottle” story, GPS technology often benefits scientists and researchers working on experiments and projects to better the world.



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