A nine-year-old girl in Hawaii has found a bottle containing a message from 1984 … fully 37 years after Japanese high school students dropped it in the ocean.

The message inside the bottle, titled “Ocean current investigation”, was written by students and placed in the Kuroshio Current near Miyajima Island in western Japan.

The letter, dated July 1984, asked the finder to return the bottle to Choshi High School, in eastern Japan.

Image: Choshi High School

Hawaiian local media named the finder as nine-year-old Abbie Graham, who made the discovery while on a family trip to the beach near the Hawaiian city of Hilo.

The bottle had travelled some 7000 kilometres.

In a press statement, the school said it had released 450 bottles in 1984 and an additional 300 in 1985 as part of its survey of ocean currents.

51 of the bottles have been found so far, with the school adding that the most recent find was the first since 2002.

Other bottles have washed up in Washington state in the US, Canada, the Philippines, and the central Pacific Marshall Islands.

Mayumi Kanda, a former student at Choshi High School and a member of the science club in 1984, said she was surprised to hear of the bottle’s reappearance after so long.

Ms Kanda said the news had “revived the nostalgic memory of my high school days”.

The school said its pupils planned to send Abbie a thank-you note for returning the bottle, along with a miniature Tairyo-bata – a type of fisherman’s flag used to indicate a good haul – as a gift.

Image: Getty

This article first appeared on Over60.