A message in a bottle which was put into the Atlantic ocean off the west coast of Ireland by Irish scientists decades ago has been discovered almost 3,000kms away in a Russian port.

Scientists at NUI Galway were contacted recently after the bottle was found at the bottom of Kola Bay in Murmansk in northwestern Russia.

The bottle, known as a drifter, was originally released by scientists from NUI Galway as part of a study of ocean currents.

It included a postcard asking the finder to contact them to let them know where it ended up.

It is thought it may have originally been put in the ocean in the 1970s or 1980s.

Oceanographer at NUI Galway Dr Martin White said about two weeks ago scientists at NUI Galway were contacted by a Russian diver to say the bottle had been found at the bottom of the bay in Murmansk.

Dr White said they are very interested to find out more about it.

He said they believe that it either ended up there having been carried there by natural currents or that it was picked up by a vessel such as a fishing boat and dumped in the port.