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

This article originally appeared on 01.06.16

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.


Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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