A canal was drained in Paris. 21 photos show what they found on the bottom.

Ever wonder what winds up at the bottom of a canal after 15 years?

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.


For the first time since 2001, the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris was drained so it could be cleaned, and the photos of the operation do a pretty neat job of answering that question.

The project began on Monday, Jan. 4, and is expected to continue for the next three months, according to a report in The Guardian.

A lot of what workers have found so far is kind of fascinating. And definitely not pretty. It's either the remains of the most off-the-wall holiday party ever or a real-time look at a decade and a half of pollution.

1. Here's what the canal looks like on an ordinary day.

Photo by Coyau/Wikimedia Commons.

What are you hiding, canal? What. Are. You. Hiding?

2. To start the drainage process, a dam was lowered into the canal.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

Presumably, there are dozens of dudes just out of frame, muttering, "I could lift that," to each other.

3. Then, before anything else could happen, workers had to go in and dig out all the fish.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

Here, fishy fishy fishy! The canal cleaners remove the fish the old fashioned way — by catching them by hand with long nets. According to a Vice News report, the deadline for all the fish to be extracted is Friday.

4. And carry them gently to safety...

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

5. ...where a full accounting was made of all the fish.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

The fish are weighed and identified before they're relocated. Not a particularly comfortable set-up for the fish, but far better than the alternative.

6. Meanwhile, clean-up crews got to check out all the cool, gross stuff the canal had been hiding, including ... a suitcase.


Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

Best/worst. Work. Party. Ever.

7. A traffic cone.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

8. A shopping cart.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

"I said three heads of garlic and FIVE lemons!!!"

9. An office chair.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

Seriously. I am so bummed I missed this company holiday party.

10. Bikes...

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

11. ...bikes...

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

12. ...and more bikes.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

Stop pushing your bikes into the river, people!

13. A couple of upturned tables.


Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

14. A shopping bag, a chair, and some sort of bedspring(?).


Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

15. A dolly.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

I feel this way at the end of a big move too, tbh.

16. Motorbikes.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

Seriously?? I'd have taken them.

17. A pile of bikes.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

I'm starting to sense a pattern here...

18. A mysterious block of some kind.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

All hail the block.

19. At least one can of Heineken.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

Crunk was obviously got.

20. A bunch of old bottles and twisted metal.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

The canal is located in one of Paris' more hangy-outy spots, and it shows. Plastic in waterways, unfortunately, is pretty terrible for most wildlife. And there's a lot of it floating around our oceans and rivers. Too much, in fact.

21. And basically, just generally, a collection of the grossest trash on Earth.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

Yeeewwwww. Just. Yeww.

There's a lesson here, people.

Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

While it does make for a bunch of great photo ops, we should definitely stop throwing our trash in rivers and oceans. It adds up. Especially over decades. (Just take a gander at the gigantic patches of gross human trash floating around the Pacific Ocean right now.)

Especially if what we're throwing in there is a full-on motorbike.

Again, seriously? Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

Waterway pollution kills over a million seabirds, more than 100,000 marine mammals, and costs billions of dollars — dollars that could be better spent elsewhere — to clean annually.

So don't do it.

Or guess who's going to have to tidy up after you.

"That's right, humans. And I don't even have hands." Photo by Patrick Kovarik/Getty Images.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less