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Letter Delivered by Fish 15 Years Later

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January 29, 2008

A letter tucked into a red balloon and sent skyward 15 years ago has turned up in the hands of a fisherman, who found it attached to a fish 1500 kilometers away.

A Japanese fisherman sifting through the catch of a dragnet found a sharkskin flounder that had stuck to it part of a balloon and a folded-up letter. Natsumi Shirahige sent that letter as part of her school's 120-year anniversary. That was in 1993, when was a student at Miyazaki Primary School.

The letter, written by a then-first-grader, said simply, "My school is 120 years old. If you pick up this letter, please write to me."

The letter included the school's contact details, which is how the fisherman, Kiyoshi Kimino, knew to contact the school.

Shirahige, who is now 21 and a university student, was pleased to finally have some response to her letter, which had apparently been blown by the winds and then deposited on the ocean floor, where the fish must have touched it. Sharkskin flounders have rather sticky skin and often have things sticking to them.

Graphics courtesy of ClipArt.com


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