We’ve all been there. Walking down the street in our local neighborhood, only to find random objects strewn on the ground by the overflowing trash cans: toothbrushes, discarded home appliances, and other less pleasant items. But have you ever seen a mountain of hundreds of pounds of pasta? How about a bag of live snakes?
Sometimes, there is simply no logical explanation for the things that people choose to dump on the street for all to see. So rather than try to find logic where there is none, instead enjoy this list of ten of the most bizarre things ever dumped.
10 A Macaroni Mountain
In early May 2023, in New Jersey, local residents were bemused to find hundreds of pounds of pasta beside a creek in Old Bridge. Images showed the mound of spaghetti, macaroni, and alphabet shapes piled high beside the creek. The Department of Public Works declared to have found what appeared to be “15 wheelbarrow loads of illegally dumped pasta.”. In a surprising plot twist, the pasta, which seemed to be limp and cooked, was, in fact, uncooked according to the Old Bridge’s business administrator—its cooked appearance due to recent rainfall.
It didn’t take long for locals to start gossiping about the origins of the discarded pasta. Was it the remains of an Italian-themed competitive eating event? Or perhaps the work of a teenager trying to hide his leftovers from his mother? In fact, the truth is much less exciting.
According to locals, the pasta came from a nearby house that is currently for sale. The house belongs to the deceased mother of a military veteran who, upon finding the stockpile of old pasta, felt he was quite literally up a creek without a paddle and decided to take matters into his own hands.
9 Sixteen Slippery Snakes
Several years ago, a nest of sixteen live snakes was found dumped outside a fire station in Sunderland, a city in the northeast of England. However, these sixteen snakes were the second nest of snakes, a dump of thirteen live royal pythons found in the same spot several days earlier. One of the snakes unfortunately died.
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) inspector Heidi Cleaver, who rescued the animals, said that “It would have been very stressful for the snakes to be in such close proximity to each other,” and they were lucky to survive the cold. Unable to produce their own body heat, snakes are reliant on their environment to maintain their temperature. The snakes were subsequently taken to the vet, where they recovered at a specialist reptile facility. Years later, the mystery of the reptile reprobate is yet to be solved.
8 Protesting with Produce
It is often said that carrots are good for your eyesight. Well, on one afternoon in 2015, workers at the Socialist Party headquarters in Paris were faced with a pile of the crunchy vegetables that was certainly a sight for sore eyes. Tobacconists in France were so furious about government plans to introduce plain, unbranded cigarette packets that they took it upon themselves to dump 4.4 tons (4 tonnes) of carrots outside the Socialist Party’s headquarters.
Thousands of demonstrators besieged the Sénat, the upper house of parliament, as it discussed the proposals. The tobacconists chose the carrots as they resemble the sign outside French shops selling cigarettes. After depositing their produce, they marched on the health ministry en route to the Sénat, demanding that senators reject the law, which the government wanted to introduce the following year. In response to the protests, the Sénat voted against plain packets but decided to increase the size of health warnings. The bill was expected to be reintroduced later that year.
7 Manure Mayhem
In 2021, climate activists launched what was quite literally a “dirty protest” against climate change in London. A group of climate activists from Extinction Rebellion took a unique approach to their protest against the Daily Mail and other newspapers in London, dumping 7.7 tons (7 tonnes) of manure outside the offices of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Independent, and Evening Standard, while also targeting the offices of the Daily Telegraph.
The group claimed they wanted to send a message to the “four billionaire owners of 68% of the UK’s print media” about ending media corruption that “suppresses the truth from the public for profit.” The protest ended with six arrests and charges of an offense under section 148 of the Highways Act. The message was clear: the media must stop “greenwashing the climate crisis and dividing people with a culture war.” The billionaire-owned press should “stop acting as if they are providing a noble service to the public. Instead, it’s time for them to cut the crap!”
6 A Guilty Conscience?
For one of the most bizarre items on our list, it’s time to head down under to Australia, where, in 2014, an apparent koala killer with a guilty conscience sought to make amends. At a police station in Victoria, officers were perplexed to find a dead koala with $50 rolled up in its mouth dumped on their driveway.
Officers were at a loss to explain the motive behind the strange incident. Sergeant Jason Von Tunk discovered the animal in the station’s driveway and initially feared it might be a setup. Describing his emotions at the time, Von Tunk explained, “It made me shiver, I thought what’s this about… all sorts of things go through your head.” While there was no evidence of cruelty, the koala had a head injury and seemed to have been hit by a car. The animal was buried, and the money was logged in a property book.
5 Rotten to the Core
In 2023, protesters in London took inspiration from their French produce-loving counterparts by dumping more than one thousand “bad apples” outside New Scotland Yard—headquarters of London’s Metropolitan Police. The act was a protest by the domestic abuse charity Refuge to highlight the scale of abuse allegations involving officers. Abigail Ampofo, director of service delivery at the charity, said the action was aimed at encouraging understanding, recognition, and accountability from the force.
The Met is reviewing previous allegations of violence against women and girls made against 1,071 police officers and staff members after a former Met officer admitted to dozens of rapes and sexual offenses against 12 women. The allegations being reviewed span over the last 10 years and relate to 1,633 cases of alleged sexual offenses or domestic violence involving 1,071 officers and other staff. The force said it was reviewing them to ensure appropriate decisions were made.
4 A Display of Power
Fed up with the rising cost of energy? Why not take a leaf out of a French energy worker’s book? In April this year, in another flamboyant display of disapproval, striking French energy workers dumped disused gas and electricity meters outside a government building in Marseille in response to government plans to increase the retirement age.
French police arrested 13 people after the disused gas and electricity meters were dumped outside the government building, having been strewn by striking energy workers, who also let off a small firecracker. A loud blast occurred as the meters were spilled, hitting a police officer on guard. Police officers chased after the truck that dumped the meters, stopped it, and arrested the 13 occupants, who were all members of the CGT Energy union and were striking against the pension reforms. The act of disobedience came amid a volatile climate of protest in France sparked by Macron’s unpopular push to raise the French retirement age from 62 to 64.
3 Another Porkuliar Dump
Another “porkuliar” dump (excuse the pun) took place earlier this year in the English southeast county of North Hertfordshire, where hundreds of pigs’ ears were found dumped in a ditch, in the second incident of its kind in four months.
The strange incident saw over 60 bags of pigs’ ears illegally dumped in a ditch. The animal body parts were discovered near a busy intersection on the border of two counties. Pigs’ ears are commonly used as a natural dog treat. However, one thing the careless criminal may not have realized is that the inside of the ears is tattooed to help identify livestock, which may aid in tracing the history of the dumped material.
Jeanette Thompson, legal and community service director at North Hertfordshire Council, said: “…not only is it disgusting to see, but animal body parts will create a horrific smell and attract vermin.”
The reason for the dump remains a mystery.
2 Free Range Chicken
From pigs’ ears to clucking chickens. Next on our list is the mysterious case in which a woman was caught on CCTV in Tameside (northern England) dumping a live chicken outside a stranger’s home. Homeowners Christine and Kevin Wilkinson were left baffled as they watched footage of the woman pulling up outside their house and leaving the live poultry on the side of the road in a food box.
The couple took the bird under their wing but have been left scratching their head as to why it all happened. Christine, 59, said her husband noticed someone had dumped an orange box outside the house on the pavement. They have CCTV footage that shows the woman getting out of her car, putting the box down, and then walking away. They attempted to find out where the chicken came from but ultimately had to take care of it themselves. Kevin said he thinks the owners might be moving, but the woman could have taken it to a farm.
1 Chilled Crocodiles
Last but not least on our list is the curious case of the chilled crocodiles. Back in August 2015, Australian police were baffled by the dumping of up to 70 crocodile heads found in a freezer near Darwin. The heads belonged to saltwater crocodiles, a protected species in Australia.
There is a lucrative trade in the area for crocodile skins, many of which go to make handbags and shoes. It is illegal to kill protected wildlife in Australia, with guilty parties facing a fine of up to A$76,500 (£36,000; $56,000) or five years in jail. A senior wildlife ranger said it was not unusual to find strange things in freezers; however, the discovery of the crocodile heads was “shocking.” Saltwater crocodiles can grow up to 23 feet (7 meters) in length and weigh up to a ton, with up to 200,000 believed to be in the wild in Australia.