Messages in Bottles, Found by a National Hero, Wash Up at the Houston Museum of Natural Science

Come see for yourself what was once tossed into the water with the hopes to be found


A new exhibit, Message in a Bottle, features real-life messages in bottles discovered by CNN’s 2013 Hero of the Year, Chad Pregracke, and opened at the Houston Museum of Natural Science on Feb. 2, 2018. Pregracke coordinates volunteer-led nature cleanups across the country with his nonprofit organization, Living Lands & Waters, and is bringing these unique treasures to Houston.

On top of this enduring project, he personally led an effort to help Houston during 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, assisting residents for an entire month.

Pregracke describes his experience finding bottles in his own words: “I’ve spent a lot of time in places many would never wish or want to go. I’ve walked hundreds of riverbank miles in less than ideal conditions, all this in an effort to clean up our rivers and waterways. But an unforeseen bonus to my life’s work soon presented itself: collecting messages in bottles. It’s intriguing to see how far some of these bottles have traveled and to listen to the unique voices they carry within them.”

Visitors experience lost-and-found messages recovered by a man whose lifelong mission has been cleaning our waterways of garbage. Pregracke stumbling upon this amount of bottled stories could not have been anticipated, and the tales they tell are fascinating.

Journey through raw confessions, archaic love letters and long lost secrets. Hundreds of transcribed messages will tug at heart strings and leave an impression of a secret world once lost to the waves.

Examples of transcribed messages:

“We are stranded on an island by the [illegible] our boat floated away help us Jon [omitted] Kami [omitted]”

“Hi! St. Louis is a wonderful place. But the world is super full of them. Go! If you’re reading this by the mighty Mississippi, drinking ginger beer, and singing songs with your friends, I commend you. [9 little hearts drawn at the bottom]”  


Another day on the Illinois River! From Jessica [omitted] [Heart shape] and Rachel [omitted] [Heart shape] 5-10-08! If found, return to [omitted]. [omitted] [omitted] Dupont Road Seneca, Illinois.

May 15, 2015 Today was hard they were everywhere. We just found a road. It has been 1 year since my plane crashed. I hope we [illegible deletion] find people.

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