Parisian Public Was Shocked When Officials Drained A 200-Year-Old Canal And Found Odd Treasures

Published on 05/10/2021
ADVERTISEMENT

It was a typical cloudy day in Paris when a crowd gathered around Canal Saint-Martin. The public couldn’t take their eyes off what’s happening in front of them. The authorities were preparing to drain the murky waters in the river. So what seems to be going on in the canal’s waters? They were speechless when they saw the things that had been hiding down there for two centuries. Unexpectedly, they did not anticipate seeing it. But what was down there precisely?

They Were Astounded By What The Water Revealed After Draining A 200-Year-Old Parisian Canal

They Were Astounded By What The Water Revealed After Draining A 200-Year-Old Parisian Canal

It Was Time To Drain It

The canal measures 4.5 kilometers. It was accomplished after Napoleon Bonaparte approved the initiative. This canal was constructed mainly to offer clean drinking water to Paris’s 550,000 inhabitants. He was well aware, though, that the population would almost definitely begin to rise in the future.

It Was Time To Drain It

It Was Time To Drain It

An Important Source Of Water

Furthermore, he wished that providing access to safe water would aid in the management of the city’s health problems. There were many outbreaks of cholera and dysentery at the time. The Canal Saint-Martin runs approximately three miles through the district. At the time, it also distributed food and construction materials to Parisians all over the area.

An Important Source Of Water

An Important Source Of Water

A Lot More To It Than That

Furthermore, he hoped that having access to clean water would help control the city’s health issues. Back then, there were numerous reports of cholera and dysentery. The Canal Saint-Martin covers the city for nearly three miles. It also delivered food and building materials to Parisians all over the city at the time.

A Lot More To It Than That

A Lot More To It Than That

Its Fascinating History

The most well-known of the three is the Canal Saint-Martin. It ran under the ground from the Bassin de l’Arsenal to the Place de la Bastille. Many citizens are aware of the above as crucial developments in the French Revolution, which lasted from 1789 to 1799. This was the site of an unexpected jail assault. It has, as you can see, a long and productive past. People became curious to see what was under the surface for this purpose.

Its Fascinating History

Its Fascinating History

During The French Revolution

The Canal Saint-Martin is the most well-known of the three. From the Bassin de l’Arsenal to the Place de la Bastille, it ran beneath the ground. Many people are familiar with the latter as pivotal events during the French Revolution, from 1789 to 1799. This was the scene of an unexpected attack on the prison. As you can see, it has a long and fruitful history. It was for this reason that people were eager to see what lay beneath the surface.

During The French Revolution

During The French Revolution

What The Canals Are Like Now

The canal is now a common destination for both locals and visitors. Young Parisians regularly congregate on the Seine’s banks and in nearby cafes. Tourists, on the other hand, like to take pictures of famous landmarks and bridges. But, why did the officials intend to dump the water in the first place?

What The Canals Are Like Now

What The Canals Are Like Now

All The Weird Things At The Bottom

In its two centuries of history, the canal has undergone several improvements. Authorities attempt to empty it every ten to fifteen years. They were going to clear out all that had accrued at the bottom. This, though, was not a regular clean-up. What was it about this age that was so unique?

All The Weird Things At The Bottom

All The Weird Things At The Bottom

The Draining Procedure

Paris, widely regarded as the City of Light, conceals a plethora of important secrets. Some of them were hidden by the muddy waters of this river. Parisians became intrigued by what was under their favorite Canal Saint-Martin. The draining process was being watched from a distance. What will they discover if they went?

The Draining Procedure

The Draining Procedure

Waste From The First World War

In 2001, the canal was filled for the first time. At the moment, they were able to strip about 40 tons of pollution from the river. Among the exciting discoveries were bullets, bombshells, and gold pennies from World War I. Not just that, but they found a car from the same era. That hasn’t existed in a long time. What else would they see in the water?

Waste From The First World War

Waste From The First World War

How Much It Cost Them

The massive job of flooding the canal got underway. Three months will be needed to drain approximately 3 million cubic feet of water. The fact that the city had to invest more than $10 million on it was necessary. The audience was curious to learn what had been lost in the canal all this period…

How Much It Cost Them

How Much It Cost Them

People Gathered To Look

On January 7, they exhausted the canal’s remaining water. The waterway’s mysteries were eventually being exposed after 15 years. People from all walks of life were drawn to the bridges. They became curious about what the officials had found. Curiosity was killing everybody.

People Gathered To Look

People Gathered To Look

A Surreal Moment

It had to have been a massive event. After all, it’s not every day that you get to see the Canal Saint-Martin dry. People couldn’t believe their eyes until they saw what was going on. It was strange to see the canal’s floor. They were both intrigued about what was under the canal’s surface.

A Surreal Moment

A Surreal Moment

The Living Things In The Water

The crew had to clear the canal until there was just 50 cm of water left. Then, they waded through the river, looking for the artifacts and living “stuff” that had made themselves at home there. The working team netted about five tons of carp, salmon, and bream! The fish were then transferred to safer breeding grounds. They thoroughly measured and named the fish before relocating it. And if the current location was not suitable for them, it was superior to the alternative.

The Living Things In The Water

The Living Things In The Water

People Threw Garbage Into The Water

Various everyday things made their way through the depths of the sea. There were motorcycles and other items. They were from the city’s Vélib car-sharing scheme. As part of the initiative, about 14,500 bikes were introduced to the city’s streets in 2007. Regrettably, they wound up in unusual locations.

People Threw Garbage Into The Water

People Threw Garbage Into The Water

The Most Bizarre Findings

As the irrigation phase continued, other things emerged. There were mopeds, bicycles, and wheelie bins at the canal’s foot! There was even a bathroom in there. It was crucial to its recovery, and it had undoubtedly added to the canal’s murkiness. It was considered to be funny to get it there. This was not the only surprise discovery down there. More significant artifacts were often found at the foot.

The Most Bizarre Findings

The Most Bizarre Findings

How They Must Have Gotten There

A witness, Marc, told The Guardian, “It’s like some strange underwater treasure.” “I can’t believe the number of Vélibs there,” he said. I’m guessing they were robbed and then tossed in. It’s strange.” Furthermore, bicycles were not the only unusual items that made it to the bottom.

How They Must Have Gotten There

How They Must Have Gotten There

Paris Is Filthy

“That’s Paris for you,” an onlooker named Bernard said. “It’s disgusting,” he continued. In recent years, it seems to have grown worse. He was also there the first time the well was drained. “I don’t recall having that much garbage in it the last time,” he said. “I am heartbroken. The youth are using it as a garbage can.”

Paris Is Filthy

Paris Is Filthy

Even Weirder Than The Bikes

If you think bicycles were weird, wait before you know that they have rescued a couple of bikes from down there. Who knows how that stuff got there? We’re hoping that somebody can step forward to inform us what happened. Stuff just got weirder and weirder from there.

Even Weirder Than The Bikes

Even Weirder Than The Bikes

So Much Trash

Of course, they didn’t come across just living beings and peculiar objects down below. It was anticipated that particular objects would be uncovered. Examples include shopping bags, traffic cones, and glass bottles. Unfortunately, nobody seems to be interested in these observations. Instead, everyone was excited to talk about the odd things!

So Much Trash

So Much Trash

A Random Office Chair

To begin with, none of them had any idea how an office chair ends up there. The finding was met with skepticism by the observers. Is it likely that this was sent to the 10th arrondissement by an office worker? The idea might sound ludicrous to you, but just speaking about it made us happy.

Random Office Chair

A Random Office Chair

There Was A Suitcase

It’s a lot of fun to speculate about how this stuff went there. As they began to clear the bath, another curious object came from under the murkiness. They discovered a revolting suitcase at the canal’s foot. Is it there that somebody threw it there?

There Was A Suitcase

There Was A Suitcase

A Traffic Cone

This is yet another unusual item that leaves people scratching their heads. A crew member had no alternative but to retrieve this traffic cone from the canal’s bottom. Who might have put it there? We’re banking on a thief who feels obligated to destroy the proof as quickly as possible.

A Traffic Cone

A Traffic Cone

A True Shopping Destination

There is also a shopping trolley on the Canal Saint-Martin floor. People’s curiosity in the tale was piqued as a result of this. Did a shopper inadvertently drive their car into the canal after filling their bags? In either event, we can conclude that Paris is a fantastic shopping spot.

A True Shopping Destination

A True Shopping Destination

Save The Fish

Workers kept draining the water from the Canal Saint-Martin until just 20 inches remained. First and foremost, they needed to bring the fish to safety. The cleaning team fished for carp, salmon, and bream for three days in the water. Finally, they apprehended the monsters and moved them to another part of the river.

Save The Fish

Save The Fish

Swimming There Might Be Possible

About the fact that having all of the litter in the canal was disheartening, there is always hope. The findings drew attention to the city’s littering issue. Authorities took advantage of the chance to discuss the issue. “If everybody pitches in and refrains from tossing something into the water,” Celia Blauel told MailOnline, “we may be able to float in the canal in a few years.” She works as the vice mayor.

Swimming There Is Possible

Swimming There Might Be Possible

It Was An Expensive Process

If the waterway had not been filled, no one would have known how bad the issue was. The canal area is, in reality, considered prime real estate. It came at a high cost for the Parisians—just real estate assets near the arrondissement order values of up to $10,000. We’re positive they had no idea these items were so similar to their houses.

It Was An Expensive Process

It Was An Expensive Process

Why The Area Is Expensive

The waterway has often appeared lush and aesthetically appealing, contributing to the high price of the land. In reality, it has acted as an inspiration to many artists. Street art can be seen on the bank’s walls, and the institution has a vast digital gallery devoted to art.

Why The Area Is Expensive

Why The Area Is Expensive

It Took Two Decades

Over two decades, all three canals were dug around the length of Paris. When they are paired, they equal more than 80 miles. The Canal Saint-Martin is the most well-known of the three. It joins the Seine River and the Canal de l’Ourcq across a distance of 68 miles.

It Took Two Decades

It Took Two Decades

Both Tourists And Parisians

The Canal Saint-Martin has drawn both Parisians and visitors since its conception. It has always had a certain allure to it. They’ve both had a peek at the badges. They may even traverse any of the locks and road bridges along the route.

Both Tourists And Parisians

Both Tourists And Parisians

The Amazing Nightlife

If you’ve been to Paris, you’re conscious that the Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood has a thriving nightlife scene. The once-quiet community will now draw a substantial amount of young people. Many citizens felt that this would only add to the amount of pollution in the canal. In 2016, they discovered that this was the case.

The Amazing Nightlife

The Amazing Nightlife

The Route

The channel extends from the Seine’s Bassin de l’Arsenal to just below the Bastille. The latter served as the site of a jail that was abandoned after the French Revolution. It then appears near the Place de la République before climbing to the north to the Bassin de la Villette. It merges with the Canal de l’Ourcq at this stage.

The Route

The Route

Strange Things In The Water

What was it that piqued your curiosity the most? Chairs, shopping carts, suitcases, garbage cans, showers, cars, and bikes were discovered at the bottom, just in case you forget. In addition to the previously listed products, there was an antique stereo on the deck. When you head there, you never know what you’ll see.

Strange Things In The Water

Strange Things In The Water

Way Too Many Bottles And Cans

When removing the water from the Canal Saint-Martin, they uncovered a large number of cans and bottles. Have you any idea how many there were? We have our suspicions that you replied to the query right. After all, they discovered hundreds of thousands of these items down there.

Bottles And Cans

Way Too Many Bottles And Cans

How Long It Is

The Canal Saint-Martin is three miles long and flows through the center of the city. It passes through the 10th arrondissement, which is better known for being a fashionable district. The neighborhood has recently grown in prominence due to its nightlife and visitor attractions. It is a must-see on your next trip to the City of Lights!

How Long It Is

How Long It Is

More Interesting Finds

When people clustered by the canal to get a better glimpse of what was going on, more and more things were uncovered and discovered in the muddy water. The canal is drained and washed every 10-15 years, allowing the public plenty of opportunities to throw, lose, and drop all manner of strange things into the river. An old-school stereo is sunken on the muddy field here. We’re left wondering how it got there in the first place.

More Interesting Finds

More Interesting Finds

Crowds Gathering

It’s understandable why the locals will be interested in the drainage and cleaning operation – who wouldn’t be? Onlookers crowded across the canal as contractors continued their task, seeing the entire thing unfold gradually. Maybe Parisians decided to see if they could locate a long-lost artifact amid the chaos. Perhaps they were searching for a stimulating mode of entertainment that involved time spent outside? We know we’d love to see anything like that.

Crowds Gathering

Crowds Gathering

Vintage Items

About the fact that this procedure is performed very often, given how ancient the canal is, antique objects such as this camera can still be identified throughout the cleaning. It’s perplexing to see how these things ended up at the bottom of the canal in the first place, particularly given that they’re older than the canal’s last cleaning. For all we know, people lose stuff in the canal regularly, whether deliberately or unintentionally. Somehow, objects that date back longer than predicted are still discovered.

Vintage Items

Vintage Items

Sentimental Discoveries

When the canal’s 90,000 cubic meters of water are exhausted, more and more things appear and are found. Naturally, you’d expect to see old and filthy things, and you’d be right. However, there were several other, more shocking discoveries. Take, for example, this stuffed bunny. It seems to be new, in contrast to anything else we’ve seen so far. The difference between the almost clean stuffed animal and the grimy motorcycle underneath it is virtually chilling in this shot.

Sentimental Discoveries

Sentimental Discoveries

Anger Management

If you ask us, this photo paints a complete image. To be honest, you might focus a whole story on it. The muddy chair in the murky water… It’s completely covered in moss… When you think about it, it’s very haunting. Again, our thoughts wander about the many scenarios that lead to this chair getting thrown into the canal in the first place. Might it have been a heated exchange? Perhaps a horrific accident? There are too many options.

Anger Management

Anger Management

Lengthy Ordeal

Staff would expend hours ensuring that everything goes according to schedule while the water is steadily pumped into the River Seine. From relocating the fish entangled in the canal to finally renovating the canal’s four double locks. Of note, any worn-out minor parts must be replaced as well. From start to finish, the whole procedure will take about three months.

Lengthy Ordeal

Lengthy Ordeal

Team Effort

Since this is such a large project, it stands to reason that there would be a large number of individuals participating in completing it. As shown in the picture, thousands, if not hundreds, of employees ensure that all is completed effectively and adequately. Not to mention, without putting anybody at risk. Though machinery is utilized for most of the operation, individuals must meet certain activities that their machines cannot.

Team Effort

Team Effort

Heavy Lifting

It’s a risky process to embark on, and too many items might go wrong at any given time. Before this one, the canal had been filled in 2001. It’s natural to assume that such an event is thrilling because it happens just once every decade or so. The staff would make several arrangements to take on such a huge challenge. It is not easy for the municipality to purchase all of the required machinery and equipment.

Heavy Lifting

Heavy Lifting

Other Locations

With what we’ve seen in the Parisian canal every decade or so, it stands to reason that other parts of the world vacuum out their water supplies and drains regularly. When washing out sinks and pipes in the United Kingdom, several odd phenomena have been discovered. In reality, there are some things that you will never expect to find in such a place. Let’s look at some of the products found by drain cleaning firms.

Other Locations

Other Locations

Animals

No one is accusing citizens of intentionally hurting wildlife, so what is one of the most popular items contained in drains? Animals are creatures. This is not exclusive to the United Kingdom; it occurs all over the globe. Not only little creatures like cats and puppies, but even animals like cows and sheep! Many various species have been saved unscathed from sinks. In the United States, there have been reports of alligators prowling the sewers, but most citizens dismiss this as a hoax.

Animals

Animals

Solid Gold

Sewers are a source of garbage, but not anything that ends up in them is useless. In Japan, for example, staff at a rehab center received 5 million yen in gold in 2009. They discovered the precious metal when grinding sludge. They used the metal due to the vast number of precision equipment manufacturers in the region. As a result, they discovered 1,890 grams of gold per ton of garbage!

Solid Gold

Solid Gold

Luxury Watches

In reality, there is more luck in the sewers than we realize. Aaron Big, a drain technician from England, discovered four luxury watches in the drains in 2012. They weren’t just some ordinary watches. He found an 18-carat gold Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph worth £21,000, as well as another Rolex and two more luxurious parts a few days later. The owner of one watch was eventually identified, but the other three were sadly false. Nonetheless, Aaron received a bonus from his boss for his efforts.

Luxury Watches

Luxury Watches

Half A Car

When it comes to sewers and drains, some blockages are more severe than others. For example, one of the most significant objects ever discovered in London was in 2014, when a drain cleaning firm discovered half of a scrapped Mini car. Although this was a fantastic achievement, it turned out that unblocking the capital’s sewers that year cost a total of £70 million. We’re sure whoever parked the car regretted it.

Half A Car

Half A Car

Random Jaw Bones

Any objects contained in sewers, understandably, cannot be categorized, no matter how much time is spent inspecting and researching them. That was the case for the mystery jaw bone discovered in a Canadian drain in 2009. The bone may have come from any of a variety of herbivorous species. Bone finds in Canada aren’t as surprising since the area is considered to have a higher-than-average distribution of dinosaur remains. Finding a bone in a finished cave, on the other hand, is rarer.

Random Jaw Bones

Random Jaw Bones

Toy Soldiers

“Life imitates art,” as the expression goes. Staff in Scotland found themselves in a situation like a scene from Toy Tale. In 2010, a squad of employees collected sewage when they discovered a whole platoon of toy troops. Once the toys were cleaned, they were placed on a plaque and displayed on the office wall for many years.

Toy Soldiers

Toy Soldiers

ADVERTISEMENT