What do all sewers have in common? What brings them together in very strange ways and makes people think twice about going down below? Perhaps it’s the waste that goes into the system of tunnels that run beneath the streets. Or maybe it is the many scary and fascinating things that have been found throughout the stinking tunnels.
Sewers have always been a great system to get the job done when it comes to collecting our nastiness and distributing it to where it needs to be. And even though sewers have been around for quite some time, some very strange stuff has been found in and around these systems of tunnels. From the famous alligators, to body parts, weird items and creatures have littered our sewers all around the world and they continue to do so. People dispose of all sorts of things via the toilet, but truly, how weird do the flushed-down items get?
Certainly, the last thing one would think would be down in the sewer systems, but it turns out that it has happened. That’s right, gold was found in a sewer system. In Nagano, Japan, a water treatment facility ended up pulling out over $47,000 in gold from the sludge of filth that lurked beneath. Rumors circulated as to where the gold came from, and of course, the rumors quickly became ridiculous. However, it was determined that the gold came from precision instruments which were used by people within the company. After time, the gold had collected from the use of the instruments, bunching together and creating the amount of gold that it did. But Japan isn’t the only ones who possess gold in their sewers. Science Magazine has stated that there could be over $13 million worth of metal in the sludge in our sewers. It puts a new perspective on where we could find our gold.
14. Expensive Watches
There exists a wide variety of expensive luxury items around the world, and while the owners of these items cherish them greatly, we certainly would never think of throwing them down the drain, however, a cleaner had a lucky day when he found an assortment of watches in a drain, near his workplace in the UK. This man, who was working in Essex, UK, found an Omega, a Franck Muller, and two Rolexes in a drain, a lucky find to say the least. The estimated worth of these watches was over $70,000. It’s truly amazing when finding items like these, even if the occurrence isn’t very likely. However, stranger things have been found in the sewers around the world, watches being the least of anyone’s concerns. And while some of these things pose a threat to safety, some simply cause problems with the general public, blocking up pipes, resulting in major plumbing issues.
A fatberg is a very large blockage of fat, mixed in with other terrible items that block the way, preventing sewage from making it through the pipes. These fatbergs happen every so often, but sometimes, they accumulate and grow in size, causing serious problems for the dwellers above. In London, a very huge glob of fat, mixed in with countless baby wipes, was found blocking a sewer. The glob weighed around 15 tons and was said to be the size of a double decker bus. That is a very large amount of sewage, and not only does it cause problems for the people above, this also prevents workers from passing through the sewers to the locations they need to be. Eventually, the workers did manage to get rid of the massive sludge, but blockages like that are a terrible nuisance. Hopefully, London won’t be having anymore fatbergs for a very long time.
Normally, when you think of an alligator, the swampy wilderness comes to mind. Or, perhaps you’re one of those people who think of the Crocodile Hunter from TV. Wherever your thoughts may lead you, there is another place which comes to mind whenever someone mentions alligators, and that is the sewers. We have all heard the myths about sewer alligators, and other once-cute pets that bit their owners and were flushed away. But the myth turned out to be true when a huge alligator was found in the sewers in Texas. In 2006, the large and oddly placed creature was found muddling about in a three foot wide drain. He weighed in at 300 pounds, certainly heavy enough to pose a threat to anyone who would encounter him. While this incident happened in Texas, it isn’t the only place alligators have been reported. People from all over the United States, especially New York, have reported seeing alligators, as well as other strange creatures, coming out and going back into the sewers of the streets.
11. A Sheep
Strange and peculiar things seem to happen all the time, but finding a sheep roaming around in the sewers is something not many would expect. However, in Surrey, UK, a sheep was found, making its way through the sewers. During a routine sewer check, the sheep had somehow found its way deep into the sewer system. The people who worked in and around the sewers eventually found a way to remove the sheep, but not without a struggle. How did the sheep get down into the sewers in the first place? While no one is entirely sure how the sheep made it down below the surface, many different animals find their way into sewers by means of curiosity. Read on, the sheep isn’t the only farm animal to have made it down into the world below.
10. A Cow
In Fujian Province, China, there are a lot of things happening at once. Some parts of its thriving community may look a little out-dated, but don’t let that fool you. This part of China actually has a very strong and sturdy academic system. Among many other things, they have their fair share of livestock, including cows. One of the strangest things to happen in this part of China occurred when one of the cows went missing. It was four long days before anyone was able to find the cow, but eventually, it did turn up. After the four days, strange noises could be heard coming from a manhole. Upon closer inspection, the noises sounded like mooing from a cow. After looking into the manhole, people discovered the cow. How the cow got down into the sewers, no one can say for sure, but the people of Fujian did find a way to rescue her.
9. An Unidentified Jaw Bone
What is the worst and scariest thing one could find deep in the depths of the sewers? A lot of things come to mind, but bones are probably somewhere at the top of that terrifying list. A few years ago, in a place known as Edmonton, Canada, a bone was indeed found in the sewers deep beneath the streets. The jaw bone did not appear to be human, and upon further inspection, it was confirmed to be from an animal. However, the people in charge of inspecting the scary looking bone could not match it to any known animal. So, where did the bone come from? Perhaps the bone came from mutant creatures who have been living in the sewers for many years. The one thing that is for certain is that we may never know what the bone belongs to.
8. Marijuana Forest
I don’t think it comes as surprise when I say we all knew that this was going to show up eventually. Yes, marijuana was indeed found in a sewer system, located in the United States. Just a few years back in the state of Washington, the well known plant was found actually growing in the sewer tunnels. The best guess that people could come up with was that someone had flushed marijuana seeds down the toilet. As they made their way down through the plumbing, the seeds eventually settled, causing a mini forest deep below people’s feet. The forest of marijuana was quite the site, and after the plants were destroyed, the estimated worth of it all amounted to over $1100,00. This is certainly one of the stranger occurrences in sewers, considering the marijuana plants found a way to thrive in the stinking tunnels, resulting in a mini forest underground. Who knows how big the forest could have grown if it had been left alone?
7. A Vehicle
At this point, it’s not a secret that some very crazy items and animals have been found deep in the sewers all over the world, but one of the most amazing things to make it into a sewer came as a shock to those who found it. Once again, in London, something strange was found blocking a sewer system. At first the workers weren’t sure what it was, but as they moved closer, they realized it was half of a mini-car. Many different things can fit into a sewer drain, as many of these facts have proved, but the question is begged: How can the half of a car, fit into a sewage drain? While no one know for sure how the half of the car got down there, it needed to be removed. Eventually, workers were able to pull the half car out of the sewer, allowing the waters to flow free.
Once again, we find strange items in the sewers of London, however this time, the items require great care when handling. One of the engineers of the sewers, Rob Smith, actually found a hand grenade. He is quoted saying: “One time a guy found a hand grenade at 2am. He said ‘I think that’s a hand grenade’ and handed it to me. I took it out of the sewer and put it down on the bank, put a guide by it and called the police. Then we got back on with our work. Later the police said to me ‘were you the guy that found the hand grenade?’ I asked if it was live and they said ‘you don’t really want to know that’.” Findings like this give new meaning to the words ‘handle with care’. Luckily it was mister Smith and his men who found the grenade and not someone who just happen to be roaming the sewers.
5. Fax Machine
We can all get frustrated while on the job, and if you are that lucky individual who works in an office, you know the struggles of getting the fax machine to do what you want. Sometimes these struggles lead to various amounts of curse words and bashing, but hardly ever does it result in throwing your fax machine down into the sewers. However, in Scotland, apparently, someone got too frustrated with their fax machine and threw it into the sewers. The machine was found due to a routine sewer check that took place. At the time of the discovery, more than 40,000 blockages were uncovered, as well as other strange objects including a Winnie the Pooh teddy bear, a snake and a pair of jeans.
4. Giant Worm Ball
If you have a fear of the creepy crawlies, then this sewer discovery isn’t one you would want to run into, especially at night. Located in the United States, North Carolina’s sewer system began experiencing problems when one of the sewage lines was backed up. After people were sent to investigate, it appeared there was a mass blocking the tunnel. At first, the men thought it to be a mass of fat or some form of sludge that was blocking the way. However, upon closer inspection, it was determined that the mass was a humongous colony of Annelid worms. These worms are small, but bunch enough of them together and you will get a mass, harder to deal with than usual blockages. Unlike the fatberg, a situation like this doesn’t occur very often.
3. Dinosaur Fossils
Dinosaur bones are such fascinating things. They have captivated us for so many years and the best way to view them has existed one of two ways. Museums tend to hold dinosaur bones, which is where most of the general public prefer to go, or, one could also visit a dig site where paleontologists are in the process of uncovering dinosaur bones. But the last place one would think to find these bones would be deep in a sewer system. Yet that was the case in Alberta, Canada, when a construction crew who were instructed to work on a new housing development came across the bones and were completely baffled by what they saw. The bones were sent to be examined by paleontologists, who decided they were from a duck-billed dinosaur known as a Hypacrosaurus. These dinosaurs roamed the earth for quite some time millions of years ago before becoming extinct.
As everyone knows, the proper place for giving birth is within a hospital, where staff are on sight every day and night, taking care of the situation. And while birth is a process that sometimes occurs in the most insane places, the sewers is NOT ideal. However, a strange object which was found in the sewers of Illinois, left many to question whether or not someone did give birth deep beneath the streets. A placenta was found, leaving many in shock. Considering this placenta wasn’t the first to show up in the sewage waters, it left many to wonder if someone was performing these surgeries at home, considering the umbilical cord was still attached, with obvious signs of a clean cut. But the fact that multiple placentae were being found all over the sewage system left many in a panic.
1. A Live Baby
Finally, here at number one, we have the freakiest thing to ever be found in a sewer system. While this particular being isn’t exactly terrifying in itself, the fact that it was found in the sewers is very scary. In Sydney, Australia, a baby was found in the sewers by two cyclists who happened to be passing by. Apparently, a woman had left him there, moments after giving birth. It wasn’t until five days later that the baby would be discovered and rescued. The child was taken to Children’s Hospital and was treated by the doctors. It turns out the baby made a full recovery and is doing much better now. But, how can a mother be so cruel? The police did identify the woman and she was charged with endangering the child, considering the circumstances. Luckily, the drain where they had found the baby was conveniently placed along a bike path that many people frequented.