February 7

Bottle released by Mass. scientist in 1956 washes ashore

Oceanographer Dean Bumpus was studying surface and bottom currents.

The Associated Press

BOSTON — A glass bottle released by a Massachusetts oceanographer in 1956 has been found off Nova Scotia.

The bottle was among thousands dumped in the Atlantic Ocean between 1956 and 1972 as part of a program by Woods Hole oceanographer Dean Bumpus to study surface and bottom currents.

About 10 percent of the 300,000 drift bottles have been found over the years. The latest find was made by a biologist who is studying gray seals. Warren Joyce found the bottle in January in a pile of debris on Sable Island.

Joyce said it was like “finding treasure.” He returned the bottle to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution on Cape Cod, including the location data sought by Bumpus.

His reward will be exactly what Bumpus promised in 1956 to anyone who returned a bottle: a 50-cent piece.

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