Strange things you've found

I had a job where I did environmental assessments of commercial properties for bank loans. I would often have to tromp around abandoned lots with old buildings. Whenever I found something odd I would take it home (I’m pretty sure the potential buyers weren’t going to miss the 4 foot statue of St. Bernadette or the 6 foot wire-frame Eiffel Tower.)

But the best thing I found was a prosthetic leg. I always wondered how a prosthetic leg ended up in a heap of debris in an old industrial area. I looked around but never found a body to go with it. Ended up being a nice conversation piece in my living room. :smiley:

What are some of the strange things you’ve come across?

A full size fire hydrant in a laundry room of a dorm. It was moving day, so somebody ditched it I guess.

Heavy as all get out, but I took it.

I found an ocelot in my attic once.

Back when I was growing up in California, due to a missing back door, odd construction and an open crawlspace, it was possible for something to come in through the back and end up in the attic. Occasionally the cats would end up up there and need coaxing down. One day, I heard something run the length of the house overhead, so I went out to see which cat it was, and by the light of the one window at the far end of the attic, I saw a cat, about 4’ long, nose-to-tail-tip, pacing back and forth.

I sauntered back into the house and called animal control. As it turns out, we had a neighbor a couple hundred yards downhill through the trees & underbrush who kept a couple ocelots, and occasionally one of them would get out. They came by a bit later with a very big cage and got the cat into it, and off they went.

When I worked at K-Mart in high school I had to collect carts from the parking lot at night. One night in a cart in a far corner of the lot I found some kind of necklace, two small pieces of decorated lead hanging from a real leather thong. The pieces of lead were small flat rectangles with odd looking designs, like concentric circles and ellipses and weird character stamped or punched into them. No one ever came looking for it, and I never found out what it was supposed to be. I still have it somewhere.

About 20 years ago, some friends and I were walking down the street where we lived, and found a Polaroid snapshot on the side of the road. Curious, we picked it up, and…

It was a pic of a guy’s naked butt with a huge dildo coming out of it.

Quite the find. We laughed about it for weeks.

Please tell me you named it Smith.

In a parking lot I once found a really nice 4x6 photo of a snow covered house against a mountain backdrop. Must have fallen out of a pack on the owner’s way home. I have no idea where it was taken, but I liked it so much I kept it. Still have it.

I found a plastic dinosaur along the side of the road near the farm where I grew up. This was before dinos were all the rage and every kid had a huge collection. I always wondered if some poor kid’s big brother threw it out the window while they were driving by. It was probably his only one, a cherished piece. He probably cried. Or at least, in my story he did.

On the same note, a friend of mine was renovating the house of her deceased father-in-law prior to selling it (it had stayed empty more or less for some months), when she and her husband came across some old super-8 movie reels hidden in the insulation just inside the attic from the trapdoor.

They were all different films depicting dwarfs having anal sex with ultra-fat ladies

Different strokes for different folks, I guess. Her husband found it rather embarrasing; she thought it was a hoot, and was all for renting a projector from somewhere and having a movie night … I think he managed to throw them out before she got around to it.

We recently replaced my box spring and bedframe with a new platform bedframe. While cleaning up the stuff that had disappeared under the bed, I found a strange bundle of green wire. No idea what it was for nor where it came from.

The only things that come to mind were a rusty old revolver and two switchblades. The gun went to the police, and I eventually tossed the blades although I liked them quite a bit. Don’t want the kids coming across them and asking questions (such as my son asking “you have two, can I have one of them at least?”)

You could identify it because it was oceloting back and forth?

I was about 13, walking to the convenience store a few blocks from my house, when I looked down and saw what appeared to be a small bar of metal about 2 inches long. When I picked it up I pressed the button, and it turned out to be a miniature switchblade. I don’t know what you’d do with such a thing, but I thought it was so cool, I kept it. Somewhere along the way, I lost it during a move. I really wish I still had it.

I definitely would have kept the fire hydrant!

Sorry to say that this is going over my head. What’s the reference?

While helping my friend clean out the attic of her mother’s house after her mother passed, we came across a big, unlabeled cardboard box. When opened, it had various items from WWII - souvenirs, GI gear, pieces of uniforms (hat, gloves), and a stack of notebooks. The notebooks were filled with exquisitely hand-drawn porn. The creator was a truly talented artist, but that was some nasty subject matter. Really out there. I don’t know what she did with it. Now that I’ve thought about it again, I’ll have to ask her.

The reference is to an old joke, retold in the movie, Mary Poppins:

“I once knew a man with a wooden leg named Smith.”

“What did he name the other leg?”

When we cleared out my grandmother’s house, we found a pen made in the shape of Charles DeGaulle. I have no idea when/where she got it, but she never went to France.

Couple of things I’ve found while out on walks:

One was a severed finger in some tall grass. OK, it was a fake finger made of Fimo but from a distance of about eight feet, looked very realistic. It even had a bit of bone sticking out of the bloody end. Gotta hand it (he he) to the artist for doing such a good job. I picked it up and wrapped it in a small plastic bag and, when I got home, melted it in our fire pit so no one else would have the same shock I did. Nowadays, I might have been tempted to keep it but, really, I’m glad I didn’t.

Another time, several years back, I found a pay phone someone had stolen somewhere and dumped under a low tree in a overgrown area. The change receptacle had been removed somehow. Seemed like a lot of work for a handful of coins but, hey, if you need your next fix, I guess you’ll do anything.

I didn’t have a cell phone just then so I made note of the area (there was a telephone pole with an identifying number on it very close by) and when I got home, reported it to the police. I didn’t get to talk to a human being so had to leave a message. Never got to hear what happened to it or if they ever caught the person(s) responsible for stealing one of the few pay phones left in this area. A few months later, when I walked in that area again, it was gone, though.

After my father died, I was cleaning out his house with the help of my aunt (his sister). She didn’t know he was gay and I kept having to invent stories to explain things to her or bag pictures of men in bed before she saw them.

The bas relief of young naked greek men on horseback, I was able to pass off as ‘art’. There was another decorative piece I was pretty sure I didn’t want to go into the garage sale so I ‘accidentally’ dropped it on the cement patio.

I use to manage a historical property that had been allowed to get very overgrown. So I took it on myself to hack through an enormous pile of ivy. (To give you the scope: there were 4" thick stems and I filled up a full-size dumpster more than once with everything I cut out).

Hidden under all this ivy were the old gas-light lamp posts that the historical society had stored there after the city upgraded to electric. So not only is the strangest find I can imagine, but also answers the age-old question of how you can possibly lose several tons of lamp posts.

The other entertaining bit of clearing out all this ivy: several neighbors asked “Are you also having a rat problem all the sudden?” Nope. No rats here. Not since I cut out the ivy. :cool:

I was hiking across a large plain covered in knee-high tussock grass when I tripped over a hidden object. Turned out to be a beautiful cast iron buggy/carriage step.

No idea how it got there, it was way out in an area with a lot of creeks, washouts and limestone sinkholes - not a place you would want to take a wheeled vehicle. It’s possible someone else found it closer to a track and decided to take it with them and then dropped it once they got tired of carrying it.

It’s now in my front garden under a rose bush :slight_smile:

I’ve found enough odd things not to consider it odd anymore. Like cleaning out a hoarder-like house and finding the pet cat that had “run away” about 15 years before. But my first is still my favorite. Back in the carefree days of my youth I was in the Civil Air Patrol. We were called out to search some woods for a missing plane AND I FOUND IT! Actually I should say I found one - but not the one we were sent to find. The one I found had been lost 5 years earlier and never recovered. The pilot was still inside and a family got closure ------ and I was a hero in my squadron for the rest of my time there.

(It was slightly morbid but also very cool in a 16 year old boy sort of way)