4,800 Messages in a Bottle? Canadian Man Revives The Oldest Form of Social Networking

Sure, you could hit a button and send someone a friend request instantly. In mere seconds the two of you could officially be “friends.” But what’s the fun in that? A man in Canada has tossed more than 4,800 messages in a bottle into the Atlantic Ocean, and surprisingly, more than 3000 people have responded.

Harold Hackett, who lives in Tignish, Prince Edward Island, has been throwing his messages in a bottle into the ocean for the last two decades. According to the BBC, Hacket dates each letter, signs it, and asks for the receiver to respond.

Since launching his first letter in 1995, Hacket has sent out 4,871 bottles into the Atlantic, and 3,100 (a 63.6 percent return rate) of those messages have been returned. The Guardian reports that Hacket has received messages from France, Germany, the United States, and even Africa.

Harold’s strange habit has even earned him a spot in Ripley’s Believe it Or Not. The owner of the Ripley’s in Cavendish found one of Hacket’s messages in Florida. Now some of Hacket’s letters are displayed at Ripley’s.

Hacket said:

“Every bottle has its own story. Waiting for the letters, to read them, and writing back. I got one (note) back with five different people finding it. They found it and let it go. It started in Cape Breton, went to Nova Scotia. It went to Newfoundland and then it went to St. Pierre-Miquelon and Florida, and then he wrote back to me. There were five letters in my letter when I got it.”

Is this the cute story of a man connecting with people from all over the world by using 4,800 messages in a bottle? Or, is Harold Hacket secretly trying to pollute our oceans one fruit juice bottle at a time?