Drains are an essential part of construction in houses. They are also regarded as an amazing engineering feat that has made living easier.
As great and important as drains are in transporting the waste products of humans and sometimes animals, have you ever wondered whether waste products are the only thing you can find in them?
Over the years, strange and highly unlikely things have been found in drains. Some of these items discovered are downright shocking or fascinating. From jewellery to animals, we have compiled a list of some of the strangest things that have been found in drains. BUT, these items have played a huge role in drain clogging, and if that’s the case for you, then you need a professional who specialises in drain unblocking.
Now that we have that out of the way; let’s look at the few amazing items to ever settle in your drains:
List of Strange Items Found In Drains
One unlikely yet extremely lucky item to find in a drain would be a piece of gold or some fancy jewellery. Thousands of people are reported to have mistakenly flushed their wedding rings or other luxurious jewellery pieces down the sink while using the toilet or washing their hands in a sink.
Wristwatches are not left out. A cleaner in Essex found not one but four luxury wristwatches in a drain. The total value of these wristwatches amounted to almost £60,000. That’s one lucky find!
It is estimated that about $2 million worth of gold makes its way into Switzerland’s sewers every year. It is speculated that a huge amount of this gold deposit comes from the wristwatch and jewellery businesses in the country.
Reptiles are the major culprits of living in drains due to their moist and sometimes warm state. It is also an easy place to find food, e.g. rats. The usual visitors are snakes and lizards, but alligators have also been known to live in drains. It is rumoured that some people buy baby alligators as pets, then flush them down the toilet when they realise they’re not exactly pet material and they don’t have what it takes to care for them properly.
Asides from reptiles, other animals like sheep and cows, have also been reported to have been found in drainage systems.
- Human babies
As shocking and terrifying as it sounds, babies have been found in drains! From foetuses to newborns, the reports of babies being found in drains are numerous. In China’s Zhejiang province, locals heard cries within a building’s sewage system. It turns out that a newborn baby was trapped in the drains, and the mother was nowhere to be found. A similar case has also been reported in Sydney, Australia, where cries were being heard in the drain by people nearby. After the baby was found, he received medical attention, was declared healthy and continued living like normal.
- London’s Fatbergs
A 15 ton of solidified waste found under a drain in the streets of London was a testament to the environmental hazard of unchecked waste disposal. The fatberg was a huge blob composed mainly of fat, faeces, and diapers. It was so big and solid that it had to be broken down with shovels and water jets. The fatberg was said to be as tall as a double-decker bus.
- False teeth
With the rigorous cleaning procedures required, it’s no wonder why lots of false dentitions end up in drains. Also, its looseness makes it susceptible to falling off at any time. Asides from false teeth, you can also find braces in drains.
Drug lords have used drainage systems to transport parcels of hard substances like cocaine, heroin, etc. There has also been a report in Washington where some marijuana seeds that were flushed ended up sprouting into a small forest of plants. When it was discovered and destroyed, they estimated its street value to be around $1000.
A jawbone was once found in a drain in Canada. Further investigations proved that it wasn’t human. However, the animal it belonged to was unknown, and it was also unknown how it ended up there.
- Half mini-car
While it’s common knowledge that mini-cars are small, did you know that they could fit into a drain? Well, not all, but half of a mini-car was once found blocking a drain in London.
- Hand grenade
Perhaps one of the most shocking things found in a drain is this hand grenade in London. Caution is advised when handling materials found in drains; however, extra caution is required when you find a grenade!
- Mass of worms
This disgusting find happened in 2009 during an inspection. At first, it was thought to be a fleshy looking substance. However, on closer inspection, it was discovered to be a huge mass of Annelid worms blocking a drain.
- Human placenta
Back in 2009, a human placenta was found in Illinois. Nobody knows how it ended there; however, we can only hope that the baby was not birthed there!
While it is normal for people to flush away a dead goldfish, drains in Canada have been known to harbour live goldfish.
Aside from the unique cases like finding animals or babies or the mistakenly flushed teeth and jewels, we can prevent many other findings like the fatberg from happening again. It all boils down to proper waste disposal.
For one, people should not flush non-degradable items like pads, condoms, nylons, diapers, etc., down the drain. They usually clog the drains or get into the water systems, making the water more contaminated.
Additionally, it is advised to scan the sink for hair, nylon bags or rubber products and properly dispose of them before running water. Understandably, some of them might escape your critical gaze; however, drainage screens help to catch these items, which could cause hazards.
Also, refrain from flushing down grease or substances containing fat. Slimy and sticky, they possess enough power to ruin entire drainage systems and breed germs or worms. Biohazardous waste should be disposed of as professionally advised and not carelessly flushed down the drains. This is because they tend to contaminate water sources, which endangers both humans and the environment.
Drainage care and proper waste disposal are paramount to lessen the amount of waste and strange items that can accumulate in drains.