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.
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.
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.
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.