BROOKHAVEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Nearly five decades after it was tossed out to sea, a bottle with a message inside was found along the South Shore of Long Island.

To the discoverer’s surprise, it was all part of a school experiment, CBS2’s Nina Kapur reported Thursday.

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The message in a bottle washed up to shore 47 years after it was dropped into the water by William Kiriazis’ science class.

The message inside said, “This is for a science experiment. We are studying the currents around Fire Island. … Please return to William Floyd High School … very important to be returned.”

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Bottle collector Susan Hennes recently found a bottle with a message inside that dates 47 years. (Photo: CBS2)

The idea of the trial was to track the paths of several bottles to understand water currents. Many of them were returned and studied, until Kiriazis retired in the 1990s. He said he hadn’t put much thought into potential stragglers, until Long Island resident and bottle collector Susan Hennes stumbled upon one.

“I said, ‘No, it can’t be.’ Then I saw this paper and I said, ‘That’s it.’ And that was it,” Kiriazis said.

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“OMG, what did I find? I’m like, ‘Wow, I really like the bottle, but I’m gonna return the note.’ But no, they got to go together,” Hennes said.

And they will. Both the bottle and message will be displayed and preserved at the school.

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For decades the bottle was out floating in the waterways, but managed to stay in pretty good condition. Everyone attributes that to the type of bottle that was used, Kapur reported.

“The first thing I thought of was this bottle did okay for 47 years in the water and in the sands and in the storms. I guess it had a good seal on it,” Kiriazis said.

Unfortunately, the school hasn’t been able to track down the student that dispatched the bottle, but it hopes future generations can learn from its journey.

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Kiriazis said a number of students have reached out to him via social media to reminisce on the experiment. It seems to have made an impact on many.