They Were Taken Aback By What The Water Revealed While Draining The 200-Year-Old Parisian Canal

Published on 03/31/2021
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Many people have assembled on a rainy day to watch the event at the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris. Everyone refused to avert their eyes from the spectacle that was unfolding before them. All of them wanted to be the first to see the murky waters disappear. What was hidden all this time? After two centuries, they had come to know things about the canal that they never anticipated. How did they conduct their investigation?

They Were Taken Aback By What The Water Revealed While Draining The 200-year-old Parisian Canal

They Were Taken Aback By What The Water Revealed While Draining The 200-year-old Parisian Canal

It Was Time To Drain It

Authorities observed the murky water as it gradually ebbed away. It is not every day that you find out more about this subject. The structure came into view; it exposed a new part of the city’s history. It is safe to say that none of them expected to find what they have found.

It Was Time To Drain It

It Was Time To Drain It

An Important Source Of Water

the canal is 4.5 km long. The building was completed after Napoleon Bonaparte I agreed to fund it. This was constructed to provide potable water for the 550,000 Paris residents. Nonetheless, he predicted that the population would increase in the future.

An Important Source Of Water

An Important Source Of Water

A Lot More To It Than That

He hoped that access to clean water would help control the city’s health problems. Several cases of cholera and dysentery had been previously reported. The Canal Saint-Martin is almost three miles long. Also, it distributed food and building supplies to all Parisians.

A Lot More To It Than That

A Lot More To It Than That

Its Fascinating History

During the decades that followed, two more similar canals were constructed. The government undertook the construction of the Saint-Denis Canal and the Ourcq Canal. The tail fin was also measured 3.4 m on each side, which is about 108 km long. It ran from Port-aux-Perches to Bassin de la Villette before joining the Canal Saint-Martin. It’s best if you keep in mind that they’re all hundreds of years old.

Its Fascinating History

Its Fascinating History

During The French Revolution

Canal Saint-Martin is the most commonly recognized of the three reservoirs ran in an underground stream from the Bassin de l’Arsenal to the Place de la Bastille The last half of the 18th century is widely known as the site of major historical events in France, 1789 to 1799. They attacked a prison here unexpectedly. If you look closely, you will find that it has a lengthy and impressive history. People were eager to find out what was below the surface.

During The French Revolution

During The French Revolution

What The Canals Are Like Now

Lately, the canal has become popular with both locals and tourists. Parisians often congregate on the waterfront and in the local cafés. In contrast, photographers like to pay attention to landmarks and bridges for shots. Why was it deemed necessary to empty it first, but why were they reluctant to keep it full?

What The Canals Are Like Now

What The Canals Are Like Now

All The Weird Things At The Bottom

To look at that canal for two centuries, we have seen many changes. Authorities attempt to drain it every fifteen years. All the unnecessary (non-valuable) waste would be thrown away. This was not just a routine cleanup, however. This time around, what was different?

All The Weird Things At The Bottom

All The Weird Things At The Bottom

The Draining Procedure

More popularly known as the City of Light, Paris is reputed to be a city of many hidden mysteries. Due to the dark water, some of them were hidden away in the backwaters of this canal. The populace was curious to discover what was below their beloved Canal Saint-Martin They observed the draining from a distance while it took place. What do they expect to find?

The Draining Procedure

The Draining Procedure

Waste From The First World War

The canal was drained in 2001. They were able to remove more than 40 tons of wastewater at the time. Some of the remarkable discoveries included bullets, dynamite, and pennies from the First World War. Additionally, they discovered an automobile dating from that time period as well. It’s been quite some time. If there’s anything else in the water, what else will they find?

Waste From The First World War

Waste From The First World War

How Much It Cost Them

It began with draining the canal. It would take about 3 million cubic feet of water to dry out completely. More than $10 million was spent on this, but the crowd needed to be desperate to discover what was in the canal the entire time.

How Much It Cost Them

How Much It Cost Them

People Gathered To Look

They had drained all of the remaining water in the canal on that day. The mystery of the river was solved after fifteen years of hard work. People from all different walks of life gathered at the bridges. They went to check out what the authorities had unearthed. Everyone was dying of curiosity.

People Gathered To Look

People Gathered To Look

A Surreal Moment

It must have been momentous. If it rains, you will notice the Canal Saint-Martin as well. People had no faith in the truth of the fact that this being correct. It was surprising to see the end of the canal. Everyone wanted to find out what was in the water in the canal.

A Surreal Moment

A Surreal Moment

The Living Things In The Water

They had first to remove the water from the canal until there was no more than 50 cm of water remaining and the still-living “things” were recovered in the canal. They successfully dredged five tons of trout, carp, and bream. They transported the fish to better habitat, such as a breeding facility. Before relocating, the fish was carefully and completely weighed. While the new location was not their most favorite, it was better than the alternative.

The Living Things In The Water

The Living Things In The Water

People Threw Garbage Into The Water

All kinds of everyday objects were cast down to the bottom of the ocean. Among other things, there were bikes. They turned out to be hired from the Vélib public bicycle system in the city. In 2007, the program transported around 14,500 bikes into the city. They wound up in strange places.

People Threw Garbage Into The Water

People Threw Garbage Into The Water

The Most Bizarre Findings

More things were unearthed as the drainage process progressed. Mopeds, bicycles, and wheelie bins were parked along the bottom of the canal. Besides, there was a toilet on the lower level. To clear up the murkiness of the canal, this was essential. People found it to be amusing. Other things were discovered, too, though this was not the only shocking finding. At the start of the dig, they found larger artifacts.

The Most Bizarre Findings

The Most Bizarre Findings

How They Must Have Gotten There

“It’s like some weird submarine treasure,” Marc, a witness, shared with The Guardian. He continued, “I can’t believe the quantity of Vélibs there. I guess they were stolen and thrown in afterward. It’s bizarre.” Besides, odd things like bicycles made their way to the bottom as well.

How They Must Have Gotten There

How They Must Have Gotten There

Paris Is Filthy

Bernard, a bystander, said, “That’s Paris for you.” “It’s filthy,” he added. It appears to have gotten worse in recent years. He was also present when the well was first drained. “The last time, I don’t remember seeing so much rubbish in it,” he shared. “I despair. The youth are using it as a dustbin.”

Paris Is Filthy

Paris Is Filthy

Even Weirder Than The Bikes

Wait until you hear that they also recovered a pair of motorcycles from down there if you thought bicycles were strange. Who knows how those items came to be there? We’re hoping that someone will come forward and tell us the story behind them. From there, things only got weirder and weirder.

Even Weirder Than The Bikes

Even Weirder Than The Bikes

So Much Trash

Of course, they didn’t find only alive creatures and strange things down there. Some items were expected to be discovered. Shopping bags, traffic cones, and glass bottles are all examples. These findings didn’t seem to pique anyone’s interest. Everyone was eager to discuss the unusual items!

So Much Trash

So Much Trash

A Random Office Chair

For starters, none of them knew how an office chair ended up there. The witnesses were skeptical of the discovery. Is it possible that an office worker took this to the 10th arrondissement? The theory may appear absurd to you, but it made us smile just thinking about it.

Random Office Chair

A Random Office Chair

There Was A Suitcase

It’s a lot of fun to come up with theories about how these things got there. Another interesting item emerged from beneath the murkiness as they continued to drain the water. They came across a rather revolting suitcase at the canal’s bottom. Is it there because it was thrown there?

There Was A Suitcase

There Was A Suitcase

A Traffic Cone

Another odd item that has people scratching their heads is this one. This traffic cone had no choice but to be retrieved from the canal’s base by a crew member. Who could have placed it there? We’re betting on a vandal who felt compelled to dispose of the evidence as soon as possible.

A Traffic Cone

A Traffic Cone

A True Shopping Destination

Additionally, there was a shopping trolley on the Canal Saint-Martin. People were interested in the story, too. Did a customer load their bags into the car and accidentally fall into the canal? Anyhow, Paris can be clearly defined as a great place to shop.

A True Shopping Destination

A True Shopping Destination

Save The Fish

The workers kept draining the canal until it was only 20 inches deep. They first had to make sure the fish were removed from the danger. 3 days were spent on a carp, trout, and perch cleanup crew. When they managed to capture the animals, they took them to another location.

Save The Fish

Save The Fish

Swimming There Might Be Possible

While it was a bit disheartening to see all the junk in the canal, there was hope. People found out about the problem of littering and then took action to stop it. Authorities seized the opportunity to discuss the situation. Celia Blau stated in an interview in the MailOnline that “Everyone might be able to swim in the canal in a few years.” She is second in command.

Swimming There Is Possible

Swimming There Might Be Possible

It Was An Expensive Process

If the waterway had not been drenched, no one would have understood how critical the situation is. The truth is that the real estate in the canal zone is precious. To be generous, Parisians had to pay a high price for it. A median price of $9,000 is required to acquire real estate properties in the arrondissement. We’re confident that they had no idea these things were located so close to their residences.

It Was An Expensive Process

It Was An Expensive Process

Why The Area Is Expensive

The good thing about property in that area is that it is aesthetically pleasing because the waterway always looks lush. In fact, it has had a notable influence on a lot of artists. there are works of street art on the walls of the bank’s building, while the bank has a multimedia space allotted specifically for works of art.

Why The Area Is Expensive

Why The Area Is Expensive

It Took Two Decades

It took nearly two decades for all three of the city’s canals to be bridged all the way across. They total over 80 miles altogether. In general, it’s well known that the Canal Saint-Martin is the most of the three. The river Seine and the Canal de l’Ourcq are linked, which measures 68 miles long.

It Took Two Decades

It Took Two Decades

Both Tourists And Parisians

Since the opening of the Canal Saint-Martin, both Parisians and tourists have been drawn to it. For the most part, it has always been a nice place to visit. Everybody gets to see the decorations. Otherwise, they were able to deal with all the obstacles along the way.

Both Tourists And Parisians

Both Tourists And Parisians

The Amazing Nightlife

If you know your way around Paris, you might know that the Canal Saint-Martin has a robust nightlife. The area was quiet and clean; now it is filled with noise and rascals. Many people believed this would only lead to more pollution in the canal. If this is true, they will find out by the end of 2016.

The Amazing Nightlife

The Amazing Nightlife

Construction Of The Canal

The construction of the canal began in 1802, at Napoleon’s command. At the time, about 550,000 Parisians lived in the city. There did not appear to be any sign of the numbers dropping anytime soon. As for those days, Napoleon believed that the waterway would bring fresh water to the city and benefit the populace.

Construction Of The Canal

Construction Of The Canal

The Route

The canal runs from the Arsenal Docks to below the Bastille. It was a prison that was attacked and destroyed during the French Revolution. It then appears near the Place de la République before heading north to the Bassin de la Villette. It connects with the Canal de l’Ourcq over there.

The Route

The Route

Strange Things In The Water

What object most captivated you? If you need a refresher, they discovered office chairs, garbage cans, suitcases, mopeds, bikes, wheelchairs, and suitcases. In addition to the mentioned things, there was also a vintage record player on the floor. You might find something surprising.

Strange Things In The Water

Strange Things In The Water

Way Too Many Bottles And Cans

A surprising amount of empty beverage containers were discovered when they extracted the water from the Canal Saint-Martin How many of them are there? We doubt that you answered correctly. After all, hundreds of thousands of these objects were found in the depths of the canal.

Bottles And Cans

Way Too Many Bottles And Cans

How Long It Is

The Canal spans three miles at the heart of the capital The 10th Arrondisse is known as a fashionable neighborhood. More recently, it’s become well known for nightlife and tourist attractions. This is not to be missed on your next Parisian adventure!

How Long It Is

How Long It Is

More Interesting Finds

As the murky water was drained, more and more strange items were slowly uncovered. Crowds had been gathered by the canal to try and get a good look at what was going on there. The canal is only drained and cleaned once every 10-15 years, giving the public plenty of time to throw, lose, or drop all kinds of interesting items in the water below. Here we can see an old-school stereo that sank to the bottom. We can’t help but wonder how it ended up there in the first place.

More Interesting Finds

More Interesting Finds

Crowds Gathering

It’s understandable that the locals would be interested in learning about the draining and cleaning process. Who wouldn’t be curious about it? People gathered around the canal as the workers kept going with their work, watching the entire thing unfold. Perhaps the Parisians were keeping an eye out for long-lost items that would arise in the midst of the chaos? Maybe they were simply looking for a relaxing way to be entertained why spending time outside.

Crowds Gathering

Crowds Gathering

Vintage Items

Despite the fact that this procedure wasn’t new, with the canal’s age, it’s no surprise that vintage items, like this camera, would be discovered during the cleaning. It’s confusing to think about how these items ended up at the bottom of the canal in the first place. Especially since they date back before the canal’s previous cleaning. As far as we know, people drop things in the canal all the time, whether it’s intentional or not. Somehow, the items found are always older than anyone expected.

Vintage Items

Vintage Items

Sentimental Discoveries

As the 90,000 cubic meters of water are drained from the canal, more and more bizarre items are found. You’d think you’d find some old and filthy items during such a project – and you’d be right. However, there were other, more surprising discoveries. For example, this stuffed animal was found. It looks like it’s relatively new compared to everything’s seen so far. The sharp contrast between this clean stuffed animal and the grime-covered motorcycle below is rather chilling.

Sentimental Discoveries

Sentimental Discoveries

Anger Management

This photo alone paints an entire picture in our minds. In all honesty, a story can be written from it. The mud-covered chair submerged in murky water… Completely covered in moss and dirt. When you think about it, it sounds and looks rather haunting. Our minds stray to all kinds of different scenarios that might have resulted in this chair being thrown into the canal. Was it done during a tense situation? Maybe it was a tragic accident? So many options arise from this one photo.

Anger Management

Anger Management

Lengthy Ordeal

It must take hours and hours for workers to make sure everything goes according to plan as the water slowly drains into the River Seine. From relocating all the fish that has gotten into the canal to renovating the canal’s four double locks from beginning to end. Naturally, any small parts that are worn out need to be replaced as well. The whole procedure would take approximately three months to complete from beginning to end.

Lengthy Ordeal

Lengthy Ordeal

Team Effort

Since this project is so huge, it makes sense that many people will be involved in order to complete it and get it done. As you can see in this photo, dozens, if not hundreds, of workers make sure that everything is done efficiently and correctly. In addition, they need to be extremely careful not to put anyone’s life at risk in the process. Machinery may be used for the majority of the project, but individuals still are responsible for tasks that their equipment can’t get done.

Team Effort

Team Effort

Heavy Lifting

The process is a risky one to do since so many different things can go wrong at any given time. This is the first time the canal has been drained since 2001. It’s understandable that such an event would be exciting seeing as it only occurs once every decade or so. To accomplish such a large-scale task, the workers have to prepare, and there are a lot of preparations involved. It’s not easy for the municipality to get a hold of all the machinery and equipment needed for the job.

Heavy Lifting

Heavy Lifting

Other Locations

Now that you’ve seen what happens in the Parisian canal every 10 years or so, it’s natural for other countries to do the same and clean out their own water sources and drains on a regular basis. When cleaning drains and pipes in the UK, a lot of weird things have been found and discovered. As a matter of fact, there were plenty of items that you’d never expect to find in such a place. Let’s take a look at some of these bizarre items found by drain cleaning companies.

Other Locations

Other Locations

Animals

We aren’t accusing anyone of purposely hurting animals, but the most common thing that’s found in drains may suggest something sinister. The most common thing found in drains is animals. And this isn’t only true for the UK, it happens all around the world. We aren’t talking about just cats and dogs – even larger animals like cows and sheep are found in drains often! There are even reports of alligators prowling the sewers in the United States.

Animals

Animals

Solid Gold

Sewers might be designed to collect waste, but not everything that ends up there is garbage. For instance, in Japan, workers in a treatment facility scored 5 million yen in gold in 2009! They had been sifting through sludge when they discovered the precious metal. They were able to use the metal due to the large number of precision equipment manufacturers in the area. They found 1,890 grams of gold per ton of garbage.

Solid Gold

Solid Gold

Luxury Watches

As a matter of fact, there is a lot more luck in sewers than most people know. In England, one drain technician named Aaron Large found four luxury watches in drains. They were no ordinary watches. One of them was a £21,000 Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph in 18-carat gold, while another was a Rolex as well and two other high-end pieces that he had found a few days later. Eventually, the owner of one watch was found. Unfortunately, the other three turned out to be fake. All the same, Aaron got a nice bonus from his boss in return for his efforts.

Luxury Watches

Luxury Watches

Half A Car

Blockages aren’t all the same; some are worse than others and vice versa. In 2014, a drain cleaning company found half of a discarded Mini car. It turned out to be one of the biggest items to ever be found in the London sewers. It may be an impressive achievement – that year, unblocking the capital’s sewers cost a total of £70 million. We have a feeling whoever parked that car must have regretted it later on.

Half A Car

Half A Car

Random Jaw Bones

It doesn’t matter how long experts spend examining items found in sewers, some simply cannot be identified. In 2009, that’s just what happened. A mysterious jaw bone was found in a Canadian sewer. The bone could have come from a number of herbivorous creatures. This might sound like a jarring find, but in Canada, bone discoveries aren’t all that rare. The country has a high distribution of dinosaur remains compared to the rest of the world. Finding a bone in a completed tunnel, however, is another story.

Random Jaw Bones

Random Jaw Bones

Toy Soldiers

There is a famous saying, “Life imitates art”. Scotland workers found themselves in a situation that reminded them a lot of the animated movie, Toy Story. It was 2010, and the group of workers had been processing sweage. Soon, they discovered an entire platoon of toy soldiers. After cleaning them all off, the toys were mounted on a plaque that was displayed for years on their office wall. The child who lost the toys might not have had a happy ending, but the find made the workers’ day!

Toy Soldiers

Toy Soldiers

A Teletubby

This was a rather similar find to the last. Engineers found an item in a drain that would make all millennials feel nostalgic. Who doesn’t know about Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa, and Po? Well, the group most definitely doesn’t live in a sewer. This red Teletubby Po was found a long way from home, that’s for sure. It’s uncertain whether the toy was flushed down the pipe accidentally or not.

A Teletubby

A Teletubby

False Teeth

Finding false teeth in sewers is more common than many people realize. However, it’s still unclear just how many sets of dentures wind up in sewers on a regular basis. One utility company launched a service to track down the owners of all the dentures found. False teeth found in Severn Trent’s sewers will now be photographed and posted online for the owners to find. Whoever misplaced them can call the company and have them returned.

False Teeth

False Teeth

Cows

In our opinion, cows just might be the most perplexing animal found in sewers and drains. In China, a cow was found inside a sewer after a farmer spent four whole days looking for it. The only reason it was found at all was a farmer hearing a strange mooing noise from underneath the village. The missing cow innocently poked its head up once the maintenance hole cover was removed. While it was quickly rescued, no one knows how it ended up there in the first place.

Cows

Cows

Graffiti Art

Underneath the streets of Sao Paulo, Brazil, there is a network of sewers and subterranean water networks. A lot of people aren’t aware that Zezo, a local street artist, created an entire collection of abstract graffiti art inside the sewers. He was going through a difficult period in his life in the early 1990s when he went underground. He then started painting the walls as a form of therapy. He was inspired by the environment he worked in, as his art reflected shapes resembling water flowing.

Graffiti Art

Graffiti Art

Snakes

When someone goes to the bathroom, they become the most vulnerable they can be. As soon as they sit down, it’s most likely that something will catch them off guard. Whether it’s something like a ringing phone or doorbell, it’s always unexpected. However, one thing most people don’t expect is finding a fully grown snake inside the toilet. This has actually happened to people. A carpet python was found in a woman’s toilet in Australia!

Snakes

Snakes

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