Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Buried Treasures Found In The Sewer (No Maps Lead Here)

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The ancient Romans gave many things to modern civilization, from public baths to clean drinking

water delivered via aqueducts, and perhaps the greatest invention that we pay the least

attention to: the sewer.

Running beneath our feet, sewers flush away all the waste cities full of millions of people

generate every single day, and where once human waste used to crowd the streets of the

biggest cities in the world, sewers whisk it away out of sight and out of mind.

Yet lurking beneath us, sewers also hold untold and sometimes outright disgusting secrets.

Hello and welcome to another episode of The Infographics Show- today we're taking a look

at the most horrifying things ever discovered in the sewer.

The Fatberg of Sidmouth

On January 9th of this year a story hit the international press of an extraordinary discovery

beneath the city streets of Sidmouth, England.

Clogging the sewers of this small seaside village, city maintenance workers were shocked

to discover a giant 'fatberg'- a mass of solidified fats, oils, and waste.

Not uncommon in sewers around the world, this fatberg was a whopping 210 feet (64 meters)

and longer than six double-decker buses parked end to end.

This is the largest such clump ever discovered in Sidmouth and the city estimates it will

take up to eight weeks to dispose of the mass.

Yet Sidmouth's fatberg was hardly one for the record books, with a fatberg discovered

in East London in 2017 that weighed an incredible 130 tons, or more than ten city buses, and

that was longer than two football fields.

Described as atotal monsterthe mass took weeks to remove, and parts of it would

end up going on display as part of a very disgusting exhibition at the Museum of London.

Fatbergs are hardly restricted to the UK though, with many reported around the world every


As our cities grow larger and larger, our sewers are under ever increasing stress, and

people flush more and more things down the toilet they shouldn't.

Next time you use the toilet take the advice of the UK's South West Water's director of

wastewater and only flush the three Ps: pee, paper, and poo.

Because who knows... a fatberg could be lurking under your home or apartment right now.

Human Body Parts

It should come as no surprise, but it turns out that sewers are a great place to get rid

of a dead body- they are after all less monitored than say a city dump, and there's less chance

of a city worker accidentally splitting open your trash bag full of body parts.

In 2012 though sewer workers stumbled across pieces of human remains stuck in a grate.

Described by police as bits of flesh with the skin still attached and clearly visible

tattoos, officials would go on to release a photo of the found remains in hopes someone

would recognize the tattoos.

A DNA test later revealed that the remains belonged to a large Caucasian female, though

no identity was ever established.

While initially the remains were thought to perhaps have been irresponsibly dumped medical

waste, the discovery of more human remains a year later started to put doubts into that


Described as being just large enough to be flushed down a toilet, police began to fear

that they were the remains of a murder victim, and the discovery of even more remains later

in 2013 only fueled the speculation.

Police never did discover the identity of the flushed remains, and with no new reports

of discovered body parts it's feared that the remains had indeed been those of one or

multiple murder victims.

To date, no suspects have been charged though.

Raleigh Sewer Alien

In 2009 a sewer maintenance crew ran a camera through the sewers underneath Raleigh, North


A routine procedure done to inspect the health of the sewer system and identify any trouble

spots needing maintenance or repairs, the crew was shocked to discover a massive, fleshy

bulk attached to the wall of the sewer!

As the workers maneuvered the camera near it, the blob seemed to respond to the camera's

approach, shifting and pulsating like a living organism.

The video hit the internet and within days had spread like wildfire, with people around

the world watching in shock and disgust as they tried to identify this alien-like blob-

which sadly many in fact believed to be alien.

This was not the first wave of an alien invasion from Zeti Reticuli however and it turned out

that aliens had not in fact traveled across the galaxy just to hang out in a poop-filled

sewer, but that the giant mass was a huge colony of tubifex worms.

Typically living amongst the muck of ponds and sewers, this particular colony had worked

its way into the sewer system and found it to be a perfect environment to live in.

Seeing video of the mass of worms, we're suddenly very grateful for our brave city sewer workers,

and really feel like flamethrowers should be standard issue equipment from now on.

Live Baby

This next discovery is almost unthinkable, but sadly more commonplace than you might

have ever thought.

In 2014 two bicyclists in Sydney Australia were riding along a bike trail that passed

close to a sewer grate when they started to hear what they thought were the sounds of

a trapped kitten.

Stopping to rescue the trapped cat, the cyclists were horrified to discover that at the bottom

of the eight-foot drainpipe was a newborn baby, still wrapped in a hospital blanket.

Police and bystanders immediately came to the rescue, working together to remove the

440 pound concrete covering and rescue the baby.

Astonishingly officials said that the baby had likely been in the sewer for up to five

days, and yet after hospitalization had made a complete recovery.

The 30 year old mother was eventually found by police, and after discovering that she

had simply dropped the baby into the sewer through the grate to be rid of it, was charged

with attempted murder.

That same year a baby was discovered in a sewer in China after being flushed by its


Discovered through its cries by a passerby, officials discovered the baby stuck in a pipe

and moved swiftly to rescue it.

Yet out of fear of hurting the infant, they couldn't cut or smash their way into the pipe,

adding hours to the rescue attempt.

With each passing minute the danger to the child grew, as at any time someone could have

flushed their toilet and drowned the child.

Ultimately the infant was rescued and discovered with its umbilical cord clumsily cut off,

indicating a newborn.

Police immediately launched a search for the mother, whom they feared may have been mentally



You probably shouldnt be too surprised to discover that sewer workers often find

snakes hiding out amongst all the muck and filth- after all, sewers are a great place

for rats to breed, and rats naturally make great prey for snakes.

But while you might expect to come across the odd snake or two, workers in Wenatchee,

Washington never expected to discover an entire mass of wriggling snakes.

Inspecting a sewer line in preparation of relining it, the workers found a nest of twelve

bull snakes deep in a hole on the sewer wall.

Believing the snakes to have been pets that had been flushed while young, the snakes had

obviously made quite a life for themselves in the depths of the sewer.

Unfortunately for them, the relining of the sewers walls meant that the snakes were

entombed, their skeletons perfectly preserved for some future archaeologist exploring the

horrors that lurked deep in our primitive sewers.


Alligators living in the sewer have long been an urban myth, along with teenage mutant ninja

turtles living down there- yet the myth has far more basis in reality than we might be

comfortable with.

In 2016 city officials pulled an 11 foot dead alligator out of a Fort Myers, Florida storm


The whopping monster of a gator was found in a 4 foot wide pipe, and it's believed that

it had taken a wrong turn somewhere and gotten stuck.

Alligators may be one thing, but in 2016 workers rescued an incredible 53 pound alligator snapping

turtle after it was discovered wedged in a sewer pipe.

The end of the pipe had been dented, which prevented the turtle from exiting, and once

removed several other dead alligator snapping turtles flowed out- proving that this was

far from a freak incident.

With a bite force powerful enough to crush bone, if the thought of alligator snapping

turtles in your sewer line doesnt make you double check next time you sit on the

toilet, nothing will.

Hand Grenade

The dangers of a pit of snakes, or an alligator may be immediately obvious, and youd think

that the danger posed by a hand grenade would be too.

Yet in 2016 sewer workers in Glasgow discovered a hand grenade deep in the citys sewer

system, and instead of immediately alerting the authorities and staying clear, they took

it as a souvenir.

In their defense they didnt immediately suspect the device was an actual grenade,

simply that it looked like one.

After cleaning it off however they quickly discovered that it was indeed, an actual grenade.

The workers then jokingly passed it around before one of them finally decided that they

should phone it in.

Bomb disposal experts quickly arrived and sealed the area off, even going so far as

to ask residents to leave nearby homes.

After doing a thorough search of the sewage waste truck to make sure there were no more

grenades in the muck- a job were sure was as smelly and terrible as it sounds- the bomb

disposal crew safely removed the grenade to be detonated somewhere safely.

After inspecting the device the disposal experts said that the grenade was likely a World War

II relic, though how it ended up in the sewer is beyond anyones guess.

What's the most disgusting or horrifying thing you've ever heard of being found in a sewer?

Ever discover something gross blocking your pipes at home?

Let us know in the comments!

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The Description of Buried Treasures Found In The Sewer (No Maps Lead Here)