1The family who had an unwanted visitor in their toilet
If you live in Florida, you have likely become used to coexisting with all sorts of amphibians and reptiles. However, one place you would never want to find one of these scaled creatures is in your bathroom.
In June 2015, Marian Lindquist of Fort Lauderdale got a big surprise after calling a plumber to snake a clogged toilet. Marian's daughter, Lily, initially noticed it wouldn't flush, and the water would back up. Marian tried plunging, but to no avail.
Roto-Rooter plumber Alisa Scott was called in and snagged something that was blocking the drain—a large iguana. "At first I thought it was a toy, and then it started moving around," the shocked plumber said.
Scott thinks the lizard probably came down the main roof vent, got stuck, and looked for the biggest opening, which is the toilet.
Even though Marian couldn't bear to watch her reptilian houseguest being removed from the toilet, she and her daughter were sad to hear that the iguana didn't survive its experience.
2The clogged toilet that caused an airplane to turn around
You can't make this stuff up!
In March 2015, a British Airways flight to Dubai had to turn around after only 30 minutes in the air due to a foul stench coming from an overflowing toilet. Abhishek Sachdev, a British politician onboard the flight, described the smelly situation on Twitter, saying the plane had to turn back because of "a smelly poo in the toilet!"
The captain claimed that it was a passenger who was the toilet terrorist. “He said it was liquid fecal excrement; those are the words he used. He said it's not a technical fault with the plane, and he was very adamant about that,” said Sachdev. Passengers were initially told that they would board another flight in three hours, but it turned into a 15-hour delay.
I've heard of “Londonderry Air” but this is an extreme case of London derriere!
3The manholes that leaked blood due to heavy clogging
This next entry sounds like either a scene right out of a horror flick or your worst nightmare. In January 2012, residents of Koscierzyna, a small town in Poland, called the police to report that they saw blood seep out of manhole covers. The blood flowed along a road that includes two schools, no doubt scaring the bejesus out of several students.
An investigation revealed that the blood had come from a nearby meat processing plant and had seeped onto the streets because of a blocked drain. It was soon cleaned up, according to a spokesperson for the municipal authorities.
Black pudding anyone?
4The jellyfish that almost caused a nuclear meltdown
In October 2013, officials at OKG, a company that runs the Oskarshamn nuclear power plant in southeastern Sweden, said they had to shut down reactor three after tons of jellyfish clogged up pipes that brought cooling water to the plant. A spokesman for the plant, which is one of the largest in the world, said that the water was needed to cool the reactor's turbines.
A similar event took place in 2005 when jellyfish clogged the water intake pipe of reactor one. Marine biologists said they would not be surprised if more shutdowns like this occurred in the future. The common moon jellyfish (the species that clogged the Oskarshamn reactors) can proliferate in waters that are over-fished or have other less than desirable conditions. In other words, these suckers are survivors!
Researchers at the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment said that there's no way to monitor jellyfish in the Baltic Sea at this time.
5The creamer from clogged vents that rained from the sky
In 1969, the Borden company, which manufactures Cremora, a powdered non-dairy coffee creamer, had a problem with its exhaust vents at their plant in Chester, South Carolina. Occasionally, the plant's air vents became clogged, sending clouds of the creamer drifting into the air outside.
State health officials were called in to investigate the white powder that covered homes and cars in the community. As if that wasn't enough, when the creamer mixed with rain and dew, the result was a gunky, sticky mess. A resident said that when she stood on her back porch, she could see “creamer fall just like snowflakes.”
In 1991, the Borden company fixed the problem, but was slapped with a $4,000 fine for “releasing Cremora beyond plant boundaries."
6The corndogs that shut down a highway
On March 25, 2014, a big rig hauling a load of packaged corn dogs overturned on I-220 outside of Shreveport, Louisiana. 75,000 sticks of the fried snack spilled out across the highway.
According to police, the driver was heading west when the 18-wheeler he was driving flipped over and hit a guardrail. Nobody was injured, but the truck dumped its entire load of corn dogs, clogging up traffic on the roadway.
Dump trucks were brought in to try to clear the interstate, but the spill was a hit with locals who scooped up the snacks from the ground. Corporal Marcus Hines of the Shreveport police said that mustard and ketchup were also part of the tasty crash. He said, “Everything you need to make a good corn dog was in the middle of the roadway.”
7The rock star who was sued over a congested toilet
In October 2004, rocker Lenny Kravitz was sued after allegedly causing "catastrophic" damage to a neighbor's apartment in New York. The Grammy Award-winner was accused of damaging neighbor Joel Disend's home in Manhattan to the tune of $300,000.
What was the culprit? Kravitz's toilet.
An insurance company claimed in court papers that Kravitz supposedly allowed "a commode to become blocked, clogged and congested with various materials." The toilet then caused major water damage to Disend's apartment. (He paid $2.84 million in March 2001 for his fifth-floor spread.)
Kravitz was sued two more times by neighbors charging him with negligence in connection with the August 2004 toilet clogging incident. We're sure he wanted to “Fly Away” and has since sold his 4,164-square-foot apartment for $6.2 million.
8The giant lump of fat that was discovered in a clogged sewer
Antarctica may have giant icebergs, but London has a different kind of “berg”— a "fatberg." What is a fatberg you ask? It's a giant, congealed lump of grease, oil, and other items that don't break down (like wet wipes).
In 2013, London's water authority announced that it had discovered the biggest fatberg yet, a 15-ton monstrosity about the size of a school bus. Thames Water, the public utility that manages the sewers, rightfully named the pile of gunk "the biggest berg in British history."
The fatberg was discovered when dozens of residents couldn't flush their toilets. When sewer workers investigated further, they found the blockage. It would take more than a month to remove the giant fatberg from the sewer system.
Believe it or not, there's a use for the giant clump—energy. The berg is made of dense fats and oils, which makes it helpful in producing energy. A researcher in London said that removing the fat and burning it in a turbine could produce more than 130 gigawatt-hours of energy each year, about enough to power 40,000 London homes.
In the meantime, Thames Water started a campaign using the phrase "bin it, don't block it" to remind people not wash their grease and fat down the drain.
9The inmate who used a clogged toilet to try to escape
In the words of Maxwell Smart (of the classic TV comedy, Get Smart), “Missed it by that much!”
In December 2007, it was reported that inmate Wayne Mitchell escaped from a work-release crew by creating a distraction with an overflowing toilet.
The 24-year-old landed himself in jail on a probation violation and was working with a crew clearing roadside trash in Charlestown, Indiana. When they stopped at the police lodge to eat lunch, Mitchell went into a restroom and clogged the toilet, causing it to overflow. He then came out saying he needed some towels from the jail's van to sop up the mess.
Instead of going to the van, Mitchell walked to a nearby used car lot, where an employee gave him the keys to a car he said he wanted to look over. He then stole a 1995 Camaro.
Officers later found Mitchell's jail-issued clothes at the dealership. They arrested the escaped convict the next day when he showed up at his father's house in Indianapolis.
10The clogs that look good enough to eat
For this next entry, we would like to use another other definition of the word “clog.”
Queen's Brian May wears clogs—heck, there is even a Twitter account for his infamous wooden shoes. Andre Ortolf of Germany managed to get in the Guinness Book of World Records for Fastest 100-Meter Dash wearing clogs. And, in 2014, Crocs created what created what is possibly the coolest shoe ever—the Crocband Hamburger Clog. The shoes, manufactured for the Japanese market, have the design of a hamburger over the entire edge of the sandal. They retail for 4,900 yen on the company's website.
A special edition of Jibbitz (an accessory to customize Crocs) is also available—it includes a miniature burger, fries, and a drink.