When it comes to popular culture and sentiment, we love a message in a bottle story. Whether it’s a tale of Greek philosophers sending bottles out to sea to test ocean currents, or stranded sailors calling out for rescue after being marooned. The idea of a long-lost scroll washing up on a sandy shore at sunset, is rather romantic. In fact plenty of stories have been written about star crossed lovers meeting thanks to the fate of a well-timed jettison into the sea, or age old mysteries being solved thanks to a piece of crucial evidence uncorked at the eleventh hour.

Whether it’s Edgar Allan Poe, or Charles Dickens, or even Sting and The Police singing about it…the romantic notion of sending and receiving a message in a bottle lives on.

Which is probably why, at Bombus, our Message in a Bottle keepsake gifts are one of our most sought after gifts.

Bombus Message in a Bottle Keepsake Gifts

It all started with a map…

Personalised map message in a bottle

Our most iconic gift year after year, is our Map Bottle Keepsake gift. It comes in a few variations, and two sizes, but carries the same sentiment. Using real, authentic, and vintage maps from our huge collection (over 25,000 real maps live in our map room!) we can find any location you wish to put in your personalised bottle gift.

Map in the map room

Need rescuing from a tropical island? Send us your location and we’ll pop the map into one of our bottles, engrave your request on your personalised tag, and send it straight to the person most likely to heed your call.

Alternatively, if you would prefer to commemorate where you met the love of your life, we can do that too. And there’s no need to throw it in the sea, we post directly to your recipient.

Oldest Message in a Bottle

While messages in bottles have been used for centuries to track ocean currents, the oldest verified Message in a Bottle was discovered in 2018. Dating back over 130 years, this bottle was found on the beach in Australia. It had been dropped overboard in the Indian Ocean off a German research ship called Paula.  A fascinating account of authentic message in a bottle finds, including this one, can be found on the website of The Message in a Bottle Hunter. On his site, Clint Buffington details at length some of the global discoveries, debunks myths often associated with them, and the facts we all want to know about real message bottles. He tells the tale much better than we do, and has a whole account of some amazing stories from the oceans around the world.

Old message in a bottle
Photo by Pelayo Arbués

Made and Designed by Us

We are lucky at Bombus to have a design team of Studio Artists who are always on the look out for the perfect product for our customers. And with our Map Bottle becoming such a success, we looked at other ways we could fit your thoughts and wishes into one of our bottles. And from that, a whole range of touching designs erupted from the studio.

Forget me Not Message in a Bottle Keepsake Gift

Whether it is to say I love you, congratulations, or how much they mean to you…we have come up with perfect little token gifts. For any occasion, and any celebrations.

Romance in a Bottle

We love romance at Bombus, and if there was ever a perfect example of how message bottles can be the vessel of love it’s this story, posted on treehugger.com:

In 1956, long before match.com was an option, a lovesick Swedish sailor by the name of Ake Viking took his search for love to the salt water. A quick message, "To Someone Beautiful and Far Away," was corked in a bottle and dispatched into the ocean. Two years later, Viking's plea was answered by a Sicilian woman named Paolina. "I am not beautiful, but it seems so miraculous that this little bottle should have traveled so far and long to reach me that I must send you an answer," she replied. The two began a correspondence that ended in Viking's move to Sicily to marry his match made by the sea.

Heart and Arrow Message in a Bottle Keepsake Gift

How we design our message in a bottle gifts

Not intended to actually be thrown overboard, but instead gifted to a loved one, we have spent a lot of time working on the most visual way to express different emotions through our art.

Design meeting for new message in a bottle gift ideas

Once an idea for a new bottle is brought up in one of our design meetings, we get to work in our studio. Prototypes are drawn up, tinkered with, and passed around the team for comments.

Painting flowers for message in a bottle keepsake gifts

Only when we are happy with how our design sits in the bottle, how it catches the light, and how the colours work with our design pallettes, will we set it up to photograph ready for sale.

Photo shoot for new crescent moon message in a bottle keepsake gift

After all of these steps are finalised, our latest design will be posted on our site.

And while many of our customers choose to send our bottles to friends and family to commemorate an occasion such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, or a birthday, for example…

We also have a core of dedicated message in a bottle lovers who collect our designs for themselves. This inspires us to constantly evaluate where we go next with our bottle designs, and means that there will always be a new and fresh idea for you when it comes to choosing your next bottle.

Want to know more about real Message in a Bottle finds?

There are actually museums and events that house a whole host of message bottle finds!

Check out The Message in a Bottle Exhibit that hosts an entire event based around the bottles and pop culture, taking place in several venues across the US.

Or if you find yourself in Turks and Caicos, they have a beautiful non-profit museum featuring the Message in a Bottle Project launched in 2001.