Three people from different parts of the world have found sealed bottles with matching parchment pieces inside. The papers, which all fit together, contain mysterious figures and symbols, equations, and strange runes etched on the borders. Two to four pieces are likely still missing. They’ve created a Facebook group to attempt to find the people who have the last pieces and solve the mystery.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. The First Bottles and Parchment Pieces Were Found in Ireland, Serbia & Russia
The bottles and parchments found so far were located in Ireland, Serbia, and Russia. Margaret Edison, from Ireland, inherited the bottle when her aunt died in the United States, the Facebook group reported. She looked through Facebook and other social media sites and found Milica Knezevic from Serbia. Knezevic’s bottle still belonged to her mother, who had been given the bottle back when she was 20. Knezevic’s bottle had already been opened.
After searching on Russian social networking sites, Knezevic located Daniil Kononov from Russia in an antique group. Kononov didn’t actually have any sealed bottles, but he did have matching parchment pieces. He inherited them from his father, who owned an antique store in Russia.
2. Small Pieces of Parchment Are in Each Bottle
The two bottles contained small pieces of parchment that matched the two parchment pieces that Kononov had. The pieces of paper look like they were all ripped from one original source. The papers have runes written on the borders. They also have drawings that seem to match musical notes, mechanical diagrams, and mathematical equations. No one has been able to figure out yet what the papers are supposed to represent.
3. The Writing May Be From the Oldest Type of Alphabetic Rune
The writing on the papers may be Elder Futhark Runes, according to the Facebook group. The runes were tentatively translated with the help of some people on Reddit. The message can be decrypted to read:
ETHIDESBEHINDTHEBACKOFUNKNO / INGHASNOEND.DONTTRYTOSKIPTH
UNDATION;ONLYFOUNDATIONKN / FATOREKNOWS.THESECRET.PEND
ECRET,BUTHEISCREATOR.UNKNOWN / OF”ROSE’SCLOC”.SIMONDOESNTKN
Elder Futhark runes are the oldest form of runic alphabets, used by Germanic tribes and found on artifacts dating back to the 2nd to 8th centuries. Wikipedia has a page with extensive information about the runes.
One poster on Facebook said the runes looked very similar to “siglas poveiras” used in Portugal. They might represent that the original owner was the fourth-born son and have one younger brother, she said. Another poster said that one of the runes could be translated to read “Rose’s Clock.”
4. They’ve Formed a Facebook Group Looking for More People With Similar Bottles
The owners of the matching pieces of paper have created a Facebook group called Mysterious Bottles as they search for more people with matching parchment pieces. They think there are two to four pieces still out there, but those pieces will be very hard to find. The group has much more extensive information about the parchment pieces, along with theories about their ultimate meaning. Ideas range from string theory to magic spells to a golden rectangle in mathematics.
5. Some People Think the Whole Thing Is a Hoax
Not everyone is taking the mystery seriously. In fact, some people believe the whole thing is a hoax. When information about the mystery was posted to Reddit, most readers immediately doubted its veracity. They said the idea that three people from different parts of the world would inherit bottles with matching pieces of paper just seemed too far-fetched. Others think it might be part of a viral marketing campaign.