The world’s largest message-in-a-bottle has taken to the seas, but it’s not a call for rescue or some kind of timeless secret. Its message is just “drink our soda”, but damned if it isn’t still kind of cool.
Part of a promotional campaign for Norwegian drink company Solo, the bottle is an 8m long behemoth of a container, outfitted with solar panels, cameras and GPS trackers. The 1.2kg bottle — which is actually insured and registered as a literal boat — set sail a few weeks ago and has been roaming the Atlantic ever since, automatically tweeting 360-degree panoramas of its surroundings every eight hours. It’s even rigged up to clean off its camera lenses with a blast of fresh water stored on board.
Stashed in the bottle’s cavernous interior is a case of smaller, soft-drink-filled bottles as well as instructions on what to do to win a “finder’s party” from the company, but that’s all reliant on the thing actually washing up on shore. Apparently, Solo consulted with ocean researchers and marine biologists to make sure it meets all the requirements for a unmanned object adrift in international waters. Still, you can’t ignore the irony of a soda company advertising through giant bottle litter.
Solo’s been keeping track of the bottle’s journey; for the moment it’s floating just west of northern Africa. It’s not as crazy as some of the other ocean robots out there, but maybe it’ll catch a glimpse of something cool. Here’s to hoping it’s journey takes it somewhere other than just the bottom of the sea.