A 10-year-old Irish boy was walking along the sea near his home when he picked up a two-liter green plastic soda bottle. At first Oisin Millea thought the bottle was just garbage, but then he noticed there was a piece of paper inside that was bound by a hair tie.
Days of high tides and strong winds had produced lots of litter in the area. In other words, it was a scavenger's dream.
"There was loads of stuff washed up," Oisin told AFP. "I thought there was just a label inside this bottle but when I saw the hair band used to keep it together, I opened it up."
After translating the note, which was written in French, Oisin and his family discovered that the letter was crafted in 2004 by a pair of 12-year-old Canadian girls named Charlaine and Claudia. The girls were vacationing in Eastern Canada when they penned the letter, placed it in a plastic bottle and tossed it into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Eventually the bottle made its way into the Atlantic Ocean, and for eight years it traveled more than 3,100 miles. Oisin picked it up near his home on Ireland's southeastern shore.
The note reads as follows:
Unfortunately that email address is no longer active, but the Montreal Gazette did get in touch with the women, who are still friends.
"It's a bit unreal," Charlaine Dalpé said. "It's really special, like something you see in the movies. You don't expect something like this to happen for real."
After making the discovery, Oisin has become somewhat of a local celebrity. But that doesn't exempt him from attending class.
“He was wondering if he was too famous to go to school today,” Oisin's mother, Aoife, told the Toronto Star.
According to the Gazette, Tourism Ireland announced that it would cover flights and accommodations for the two women to visit Ireland for one week during the summer of 2013.