Gutterly odd: the 10 weirdest things found down drains
This entry was posted on February 24, 2016.
From baby wipes to banana skins, nappies to nachos, there are plenty of things we know we shouldn't flush down the toilet or the drain. As many of us will know, perhaps through bitter experience, it doesn't take much to block a household drainage system. Even using a few innocent-looking pieces of kitchen roll in a toilet emergency can result in a bog blockage only the professionals can clear! These guys are well used to finding amusing and frankly, disgusting, things down our drains but occasionally, the world's drain freedom fighters come across things that would make your mind boggle and your skin crawl. Here we reveal the ten strangest things to have been found down drains and sewers around the world. You might want to leave your lunch until later.......
1). Hold on to your pants!
In the summer of 2007, prison guards at Ottawa County Jail in Ohio, having noticed a putrid stench and a series of blocked toilets, called in the drainage specialists to investigate. The issue was found to be a pair of orange prison-uniform underpants that had been stuffed down a toilet by a soon-to-be-released inmate who, presumably, could no longer bear the sight of the tangerine treats. Unfortunately for him, however, on admitting his misdemeanour, a further month was added to his sentence.
2). Fed up to the back teeth
Getting older is a risky business but did you know that one of the major perils of reaching a ripening age is losing your dentures down the drain? Flushed down toilets or washed down the plug hole in the bath, hundreds of sets of dentures and false teeth turn up in UK sewers each year. Severn Trent Water Company found so many in 2011 that they set up an internet campaign to reunite member of the public with their falsies for Christmas. Now that's what we call goodwill to your fellow man!
3). It's a Mini adventure... down the drain...
Authorities in London spent over £70 million in 2014 in a bid to free the city's network of blocked drains. Among their most surprising discoveries was half a Mini, which was found blocking a sewer underneath London's streets. Fished out by Thames Water, the car was said to be in a right royal mess.
4). Fat chance!
Staying in London, drainage technicians in Shepherd's Bush recently stumbled upon a stomach-churning monstrosity of epic proportions when they were called upon to investigate flooding in the road. A "fatberg", the size of a Boeing 747 jet was found to be blocking the entire sewer system. The berg, a revolting concoction of congealed fat, hair, baby wipes and rotting food, had to be taken out with jet-powered machinery and destroyed some 20 metres of sewer. Will the discovery stop London residents pouring liquid fat from their chip pans down the drain, though? Fat chance!
5). Reptilian rumblings
Alligators in drains are a surprising, but not uncommon, find in the United States. Authorities in Texas found a 20 foot gator in a storm drain in 2007 and last year in Florida, a 7 foot creature managed to get itself trapped in a drain in a residential area. After being rescued by drainage engineers, the alligator was returned safe and well to a nearby sanctuary.
6). Plug-in pandemonium
A plumbing company in Pennysylvania were called to a property following reports of unpleasant fumes and blocked toilets. After investigating, they discovered the cause of the blockage to be a large plug-in air-freshener. Afterwards, the residents were told in the nicest possible way that a plug-in was perhaps not the best solution to solving pongy toilet problems!
7). Bad day at the office?
Incredibly, Scottish water recently retrieved a fax machine from the sewers beneath the streets of Scotland. As well as being a remarkably silly thing to do, the fact that it was down there was even more astonishing as, who on earth uses fax machines anymore?
8). A large Pooh
A A Milne's famous bear didn't have much going on between the ears but someone north of the border had even less recently, as a large Winnie the Pooh teddy was found blocking a drain after being flushed down the toilet.
9). Don't have a cow, man!
After hearing strange moo-ing noises coming from under the ground, investigators in Fujian Province, China were shocked to discover a cow, alive and well, underneath a manhole leading to the sewer. The animal had been missing from its home on a local farm for four days. One can only hazard a guess as to what it was eating while it was down there... eurgh!
10). The truth is down there...
Construction workers underneath the streets of North Carolina reported finding an alien life-form in the sewer back in 2009. After sending a team of microbiologists to look into the matter, the pulsating "blob" was infact discovered to be a large colony of worms, which had attached itself to the pipes and was thriving in the dark, dank environment.
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