The town of Plougastel-Daoulas might finally have an answer to its more than two-centuries-old stone-engraved mystery. The writing on a rock that is visible only during low tide, has got a potential translation after the Breton town announced a contest and a €2000 cash prize to whoever could decipher the message on the stone.

A picture of a word on the Plougastel-Daoulas rock
The mysterious inscription was engraved on this rock about 250 years ago © Fred Tanneau / AFP / Getty Images

More than 2000 people replied to the contest from all over the world, going from France’s next-door neighbour Belgium to countries halfway across the planet like Thailand. The authorities of Plougastel-Daoulas collected all the interpretations they received in 61 dossiers and ended up deciding to award the prize to two of them - the most likely hypotheses of them all, according to local newspapers.

Read more: You can win €2000 if you can decipher the inscription on this French rock

The first possible translation makes the message on the stone an obituary for a soldier who set sail during a tempest and never returned - the person who engraved the message might have been a friend of the disappeared sailor. According to the second hypotheses, on the other hand, the message was left by someone wanting to curse the people responsible for the death of a friend.

A picture of the two men whose translations won the contest next to the inscription
The two codebreakers are Noel René Toudic, on the left, and Robert Faligot, on the right. Toudic's translation is the one regarding the disappeared sailor, while Faligot advanced the hypothesis of the revenge for a dead friend © Fred Tanneau / AFP / Getty Images

The language of the inscription seems to be confirmed to be Breton in use in the 18th century, but there are also some Welsh and Scandinavian words here and there as well as what look like inverted or upside-down letters. Some part of the mystery definitely remains.

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