Curiosity in a Bottle Kits:
These kits are the best way we know to make safe, effective bottle messages. If you’re going to make your own bottle, we suggest you make it match our kits as much as possible:
- Glass lasts longer than plastic at sea, and has a lower environmental impact.
- It’s clear so people can see inside. Green or brown glass would protect the note more, but it would have less chance of getting noticed.
- The small size makes it easier to travel with (on a vacation, say) and make the glass much stronger. Long neck bottles break pretty easily.
- The square sides allow the bottle to grip a beach after washing up. That means that when your bottle arrives, it will stay there where people can find it.
- The cap is UV resistant, and won’t corrode like steel or aluminum. Cork will biodegrade pretty quickly.
- The bead makes people say “what’s that?” and open the bottle.
- The paper is waterproof and UV resistant.
- Pencil will not run or fade.
- Our notes are printed with a laser printer for durability. The outside of the note is written in ten common languages.
Tips for bottle making:
- Read the bit above. 🙂
- Dark bottles do provide more protection, but it’s harder to get someone to notice them. Clear bottles allow people to see the contents.
- Grolsch bottles have a sealed cap. The first bottle we launched was a Grolsch.
- Plastic bottles can be effective, but they’re more likely to be considered litter. They also don’t last as long as glass.
- Ink jet printer ink tends to fade and bleed. Laser print last forever.
- If you’re going to write with pen, try to use a Sharpie or something made with india ink. Normal ballpoint doesn’t last long, and gel pens bleed terribly.
- The sun will cause damage. Keep your writing wrapped tight.
- Consider putting a dollar bill in the bottle. Most people pay attention to money.
- You can also put toys in the bottle. Some of our prototypes have small ducks in them.
- The person finding your note may not speak your language. This is why we put QR codes and numbers in our bottles.
- If you place a scrolled note in a narrow neck bottle and don’t secure it, it will unravel and be impossible to get out. Consider a wide mouth, and securing the note with something.
- Consider the environment with whatever you choose.
Tips for bottle drop locations:
Things to Avoid:
- Environmentally sensitive areas like wildlife refuges or national parks.
- Public beaches where there is a lot of traffic.
- Anywhere the bottle might cause a hazard.
- Throwing bottles off cruise ships is prohibited. You may be fined.
Things to Try:
- Consider wind and current, as these was what’s likely to move a bottle in water.
- Look for places where water moves. Industrial places like ports are good. River are good as well, though rapids are likely to make the bottle break.
- The burlap bag is to protect the bottle before you launch it, but it could also be left on. If you’re putting the bottle in a place with rocks, for example, the bag will offer a bit of protection, at least for a short time.
- Bottles don’t have to be in water! They can also be placed in any of the following places:
- Under logs in the forest.
- Near geocaches. People are looking for things there, so chances are good it will be found by a curious person. Never put your bottle IN a geocache though, as this will upset people.
- In the walls of a home reconstruction project.
- On a plane, train, bus, automobile. If you put one in the spare tire compartment of a rental car, where would it end up?
- On top of a rarely climbed hill in the desert.
- Buried in a garden. It will be dug up eventually.
- Inside an access panel.
Do you have a tip for us? Please drop us a line!