When you were a child, you probably crossed a few bridges and thought: I hope the troll doesn’t eat me today! Bridges can be mysterious structures, for you can see what’s on top of them as you cross, but not what lies underneath. Want to find out? From a 120-year-old time capsule to over a dozen coffins, here are 15 of the strangest discoveries people have made under bridges.
15. Dangerous Crocodile
There are many crocodile-infested bodies of water in Jamaica, but there are also a lot of people who want to go swimming and bridge jumping. The two generally don’t bode well together. So when a dangerous crocodile was spotted underneath Hellshire Bridge in Portmore of St. Catherine in Jamaica, locals were quick to act.
People turned up in their dozens with ropes and bait to lure the crocodile out of the water, but were not having much luck. Onlookers were blocking the road, and people were having trouble getting over the bridge due to all the commotion. Police were quick to arrive and get people moving, and we can only hope they were able to move the crocodile on to somewhere safer for both it and swimmers.
This is not the first discovery of a crocodile in the area. Just a few months before this incident, defense soldiers had to rescue a woman on the Hellshire main road after she drove her car into the crocodile-infested waters below. Fortunately, she only sustained minor injuries from the accident, not bite marks from the crocs.
14. A Baby Boy’s Body
An Oklahoma family had been vacationing in New York City when they stopped to get dinner after a ferry trip to the Statue of Liberty. They were sitting on a bench when they saw what looked like a doll in the East River by the Brooklyn Bridge. It turned out to be an infant in a diaper, thought to be around eight months old.
Monte Campbell dialed 911 and went to retrieve the baby from the water’s edge. He was face-up near debris and was not showing any signs of life. A pedestrian flagged down a patrol car and an officer retrieved the baby from over a safety railing. Both Monte Campbell and Police tried to revive the infant using CPR, and it was rushed to the hospital. Unfortunately, the baby couldn’t be revived.
The baby showed no signs of trauma, and its parents couldn’t immediately be found. Well into the early evening, police were at the scene marking it off and running police boats in the water. The Campbell family described the experience as “very emotional,” and it remains one of the strangest discoveries found under a bridge.
13. An 1894 Time Capsule
In 2015, construction and infrastructure company Morgan Sindall had been replacing a portion of the Ruthven Road bridge in the Cairngorms under a contract with Highland Council. During this process, construction workers uncovered a small, metal box that had been sitting within the bridge’s structure since the 1890s.
In the box was a folded newspaper from 1894, a bottle of whiskey, a scroll, and other similar items. According to a Morgan Sindall employee, Robert Ogg, the find was extraordinary. He said it’s fascinating to think they had been there for over 100 years, at a time when horses crossed the bridge, rather than cars.
The time capsule was gifted to the Highland Folk Museum to study, and Morgan Sindall has begun working with a local primary school to create their own time capsule.
12. A Creepy Face
Bridges have been quite creepy places since time began. In children’s storybooks, trolls have lived under them – trolls that try and stop anyone from walking over or under the bridge. So it’s probably not out of the question for them to not only be scary in tales but in real life too.
In this disturbing footage uploaded to Freddie Harrison’s YouTube channel in 2019, the creepiness continues. The video shows Google Street view footage that begins in Ithaca, New York. The person taking the video starts at street level then moves the video down to under a bridge.
Next thing you know, it has focused on what appears to be a white face with creepy, haunting, and black eyes that stare out blankly. The video comes to an abrupt halt, so it’s unclear what it could actually be. Is it a real person? Is it a mask? Is it the trick of the light? We bet no one will be in too much of a hurry to find out for sure.
11. A Mysterious Hanging Creature
There are bound to be animals and creatures we’ve yet to discover in this big, wide world, but in the center of the busy city of Kyiv, Ukraine? It seems unlikely. That is until this footage was uploaded to Last Leaf Studio’s YouTube channel in 2016.
The footage is taken from someone standing near a bridge, which shows an unidentifiable creature hanging from it, climbing underneath it upside down. At first glance, it looks like it could be an ape or a large human, but others aren’t so sure.
It’s more beast-like than human and appears to be quite large. It also moves its rear legs at the same time while pulling itself along the bridge’s railing. More noticeably, is that it doesn’t appear to be scared. In fact, the creature looks to be quite at home scaling the bridge.
Many people thought it could be a bear that had escaped from the local zoo, but it doesn’t fit in with a bear’s size or behavior. We may never know for sure, but it’s certainly one of the strangest things people have found under a bridge.
10. Brooklyn Bridge Creature
You’d be amazed at what can wash up on the coast and shorelines around bodies of water. Everything from furniture to plastic, driftwood to seaweed can end up stranded on the outer edges of the water. But Denise Ginley wasn’t expecting this on her walk under the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
Denise found a strange-looking creature washed up on the sands on the Manhattan side of East River. She believes the tide had washed it up.
It had a hairless body, a beak, claws, and an overall strange body shape. It also didn’t look like any animal that she had seen before. Denise speculated that it looked like a large rat, but others aren’t so sure. Other theories include a small, bloated dog, a pig, or a raccoon.
Cornell University professor Paul Curtis said the animal was likely a small dog that had been in the river for quite some time. While International Cryptozoology Museum director Loren Coleman says it’s more likely to be a bloated raccoon, going by its tail, human-like fingers, and teeth.
Unfortunately, no one will ever know for sure, for the Parks Department disposed of the animal before any analysis could be carried out.
9. The Fremont Troll
In the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington, there had been a problem with drug dealers using the underside of a bridge as a dumping ground. To solve the problem, the Fremont Arts Council created an art competition to rehabilitate the area and give it a new lease on life.
Four local artists, Will Martin, Donna Walter, Ross Whitehead, and Steve Badanes came up with the idea of a troll living under the bridge, representative of the one from Norwegian folklore. That idea won the competition, and the troll was built in 1990.
The troll became an instant attraction. In 2005, the Aurora Avenue North section of the bridge was named Troll Avenue, and commercial products using the troll’s image were produced. A Chia Pet called the Fremont Troll was even sold in a drug store chain.
The fame didn’t end there. Chicago rock band Majungas released a song called the Fremont Troll, and TV show Once Upon a Time referenced it in their seventh season in 2017. The colossal statue, which clutches a Volkswagen Beetle, is 18 feet high, weighs 13,000 pounds, and is undoubtedly one of the more unusual discoveries to stumble across under a bridge!
8. Crocodile Bridge
On an unremarkable stretch of highway from San Jose to Jaco is a relatively new tourist attraction that brings tourists in their droves. At the main bridge of Tarcoles River, which now goes by the name of Crocodile Bridge, there are around a dozen American crocodiles up to 13 feet long that hang out under the bridge to sun themselves.
These crocs are usually found as far north as southern Florida but are also attracted to salty water, such as that in the Tarcoles River. Given how popular the bridge has now become, vendors have taken the opportunity to earn a quick dollar by selling crocodile-themed merchandise nearby. You can also stop for photos, or jump aboard a crocodile safari boat if you’re a bit of a thrill-seeker.
Most people know they should look and not touch, but that hasn’t stopped a few fatalities since the crocodiles started visiting. A man was eaten in 2014, but some people believe he had jumped over the bridge intentionally.
If you want to see crocs up close and personal, then pay a visit to Crocodile Bridge. Just remember to stay on the road side of the bridge.
7. Texas Bridge Torso
One of the last things you want to discover under a bridge when you’re out fishing with friends is a body, but that was the reality for one group of men near the Brazos River in Waller County, Texas.
The men found a black garbage bag around 50 feet from the river’s edge. They opened it and discovered a body. While, unfortunately, finding bodies under bridges is not rare, finding this type is. It had no arms, legs, or head.
Waller County Sheriff Glenn Smith said his team had been working hard to identify the victim, find out their gender, and look for evidence. There were a lot of tire tracks in the area which could point them in the direction of the person who dumped the body. It also wasn’t ruled out that it could be drug or gang-related.
6. A Witch Doctor
The Kamukuywa Bridge in Kenya has seen a lot of sorrow in recent years. In one month, there were nearly 160 traffic fatalities on it, including 19 in one crash with 12 family members, and 12 and seven in two others.
A medicine man, or witch doctor, decided that something had to be done, and he visited the area underneath the bridge to see what he could find. In holes under the bridge, he discovered “strange” creatures that he believes are responsible for the automotive accidents that claimed so many lives on the bridge. He said the bridge was cursed with a black spot.
However, others were not so quick to agree with the witch doctor. They thought the creatures were likely dogs, sheep, or cows, and were unlikely to result in a curse upon Kamukuywa Bridge. Instead, the fatalities are more likely to be a combination of poorly maintained roads, a lack of traffic law enforcement, vehicle overloading, and driving under the influence.
A Tlalnepantla de Baz, Mexico, resident by the name of Angel Porter, had been walking under a bridge in Northern Mexico when he came across an unusual find: 19 coffins. That’s not your everyday discovery when out for a leisurely stroll, that’s for sure!
Angel had noticed people milling around the bridge with a hole in it in 2017. He waited his turn for a look and discovered 19 coffins stuffed into a small space under the bridge. He took photos, posted them online, and they went viral – with 20 million views.
When the FRANCE 24 Observers team found the pictures, they contacted the city of Tlalnepantla de Baz to find out what on earth they were all about. In the meantime, police had turned up to the scene to put a security cordon in place and cover up the hole. It was now no longer possible to look inside the gap in the bridge, and police dogs were present too.
Questions were being asked almost immediately. Were there people in those coffins? Why were they there? Who put them there? Representatives of the city were quick to offer answers, but not everyone was convinced.
A city spokesperson said the coffins were gifted to the city from funeral homes for burying people without the means to pay for their casket or unidentified people. There were 16 adult coffins and three for children. The spokesperson also said the coffins were empty and that the bridge had been used as a storage facility, as there was a door to get them into the gap.
However, there was no proof that the coffins were, in fact, empty at the time they were found. It also seems like an awfully strange place to store coffins, as most bystanders thought.
4. Ancient Native American Remains
In 2018, a bridge inspector with the Texas Department of Transportation came across remains under a bridge while carrying out an inspection. The bones were protruding from the ground, and the inspector immediately phoned law enforcement and the Frio County Sheriff’s Office. His belief was that the bones might relate to a cold case.
However, once experts from the highway department arrived, they dated the bones to around 1,000 years ago to a Native American man. The body was flat on his back with his knees in the air, as was the tradition at the time, with a spear buried next to him. The body is thought to be a one-off, rather than part of a larger burial ground. At the time, nothing was known about the man’s cause of death, any tribal connections, or his age.
Given the cultural significance, the Texas Department of Transportation contacted Indian tribes to find out what to do with the remains. They would not remove it until they had permission from Native American groups.
Finding remains of that age after the construction of a bridge is rare. Normally, if remains are to be found, they are done so during the initial building phase. Therefore, this is definitely one of the more unusual discoveries under a bridge!
3. Secret Fallout Bunker
During the era of the Cold War, fallout shelters and emergency survival bunkers were not uncommon. If you had to evacuate your home at a moment’s notice, it was helpful if you had somewhere safe and secure to hide with supplies already in place to accommodate you.
Mostly, these were in various public points throughout the city. Some people also had them in their backyards or built hidden bunkers in wooded lots or off the beaten track. But to find one inside the Brooklyn Bridge? Simply unheard of! Until now.
In 2005, inspectors for the New York City Department of Transportation were carrying out bridge and tunnel inspections – as they would on any other occasion. But this time, they stumbled across something they had never seen before.
In the Manhattan anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge, they found a hidden room with supplies dating back to 1957 and 1962. In the room were blankets, a shock prevention drug known as Dextran, and around 350,000 high-calorie survival crackers.
The supplies had origins to the Office of Civil Defense, which now goes by the name of FEMA, and no one knows who put them there or for what reason. The average member of the public will also never know, for all the rooms and tunnels within the bridge’s anchorages are off-limits. The NYC Department of Transportation will also not release where the supplies were found to limit people trying to find them.
2. 100-Year-Old Hobo Graffiti
When you see graffiti in Los Angeles, you won’t blink an eye. It’s everywhere – from full murals through to the scrawls of teens who have snuck out of their parents’ homes after dark. But what is possibly less common and more intriguing is the discovery of graffiti left behind by freight train-hopping tramps and hobos from the early 20th century.
Graffiti-studying anthropologist Susan Philips discovered the markings under a century-old bridge. Because tramps usually used grease pencils or chalk, it was rare to find markings that had survived the test of time.
It didn’t take long for Susan to learn who left the markings and what they signified. They belonged to well-known hobos The Tucson Kid, A-No.1, and Oakland Red. A.No.1, also known as Leon Ray Livingston, had written several books about the hobo life. Leon had always said that he had started out of necessity, carried on because he loved the life of travel, but continued because he knows nothing else.
The books Leon wrote about life as a tramp or hobo, hopping aboard freight trains, was both a description of the lifestyle, but also practical tips on how to make it work. He was responsible for universal graffiti signs underneath bridges that all hobos would learn to understand on their travels.
An upside-down triangle would mean “road spoiled, full of other hobos,” while an arc with a black dot in the center said that authorities here are alert. Other symbols could tell hobos about the need to keep quiet, or that there are thieves around. Some were more practical, such as informing new tramps to nearby trains and trolley stops, or about a particular road being pleasurable to travel.
A.No.1 was possibly one of the most well-known tramps of his time, and was laid to rest in Pennsylvania with a gravestone that read: A-No.1 at rest at last.”
1. Old Tombs
Most children will know the song “London Bridge is Falling Down,” and will happily sing it without knowing its meaning. But did you know it refers to the idea that London Bridge would fall down unless human sacrifices were buried in its foundations?
It’s ideas like this, and real-life examples that may have perhaps spooked bridge crews to the point that they didn’t want to work on the London Bridge by themselves.
In 2007, builders were working hard to prepare the opening of the London Bridge Experience, a tourist attraction in London. Part of this involved excavating old tombs underneath the London Bridge, including a sealed vault in the basement containing skeletons.
Builders who worked on the site were part of a crew managed by two brothers. The stories they were hearing from their men were terrifying.
Bulbs would go out when the electrics were completely fine, and tools were going missing in minutes. Hammers, screwdrivers, and even a power drill would mysteriously vanish when the builders left for a cup of tea.
Even the toughest men on the crew were not keen to work down in the tombs, and they quickly decided they at least wouldn’t work alone.
One man even said that if anything creepier happens, he wouldn’t be coming back. The brothers had planned to enlist the services of a medium to find out what on earth was going on under London Bridge.
Originally, the area that is now a tourist attraction was a plague pit. It may have also been a cemetery for the Southwark Cathedral. On the bridge, several people were executed, and their heads were placed at the Traitor’s Gate. No wonder this place is creepy, and some strange things were happening!
So, as it turns out, there are more than just trolls lurking under your local bridge. Which discovery freaked you out the most? What have you found under a bridge? Also, check out our other cool stuff showing up on the screen now. See you next time.