If you're having a bad day, it's probably not as bad as these people experienced.
Folks, trucking isn’t easy. Those of us not living the highway life completely take these road warriors for granted. Then something like the recent incident involving 7,500 pounds of slime eels reminds us of the varying kinds of cargo travelling the world's highways and byways. While the vast majority of goods safely reach their destination, accidents do happen and the aftermath can sometimes be interesting, to say the least. From humorous to just plain gross and surprisingly scientific, here are a few of our picks for some crazy highway spills.
There have been numerous beer spills through the years, with the most recent having occurred just a couple days ago in Colorado. We’ll choose the epic spill of over 2,000 cases in the Netherlands for the sheer carnage of glass bottles and foamy brew strewn across the highway.
The aforementioned slime eels debacle wins the day for the most disgusting spill we’ve seen, but this takes a close second. As reported by the Daily Mail, the spill happened in Poland back in 2012 after the driver forgot to close the rear door to the truck, resulting in 24 tons of sardines all over the road. That must’ve smelled amazing.
We covered this back in January – a large box of red skittles on the back of a flatbed truck emptied itself onto a Wisconsin highway during a rainstorm, which was every bit as delightfully bloody looking as it sounds. Oddly enough, the candies were to be used as cattle feed because they weren’t deemed good enough for packaging.
In March 2011 a UPS truck did a Banksy in Massachusetts when it overturned, spreading 16,000 pounds worth of ink cartridges – and much of the colorful contents – all over the highway. The ink was water soluble so it wasn’t an environmental disaster, but it further snarled traffic in the area for hours until it was cleaned up.
This time, the culprit isn’t a truck but a family traveling through in West Virginia back in 2013. Totes of Legos strapped to the roof of a Dodge Durango came loose, spilling the bricks across the highway. It’s bad enough trying to walk on errant bricks – a large pile on a highway could be quite a traffic hazard.
Used Vegetable Oil
While not necessarily as disgusting as some other food-based spills, can you imagine the slippery mess this would cause? This has happened a few times, including a nasty spill back in 2012 that covered 26 miles of highway in Indiana that took days to clean up.
From slippery to sticky, hundreds of bottles of maple syrup spilled in Kentucky back in 2012. We'll spare you the pain of punning about sticky situations, but we're absolutely forced to tell you this crash took place on I-75 at Buttermilk Pike. We never wish for people to crash, but a reckless driver smashing upon the scene with a load of bacon wouldn't have been the worst thing to happen.
This isn’t anywhere near as physically disgusting as slime eels or sardines, but the visuals are straight from a bad horror movie. This particular spill stems from 2010 when a bunch of tomato paste came loose from a flatbed truck in Ceres, California, about 50 miles east of San Francisco. At least now we know what to use for special effects at our Halloween car show.
Deadpool as in the awesomely R-rated crime fighter? That’s right, and it even happened in February 2016 just days after the movie came out. According to cbr.com the truck carrying the comics – which did include other titles – was broke down on the side of the road when another truck hit it. We can’t confirm who was driving that second truck, but considering the timing of crash with the movie release, it sure sounds like something Deadpool would do.
This last spill didn’t actually involve a truck or a highway, but it’s perhaps the most epic in terms of both time and distance. This rather innocent video explains how 29,000 rubber ducks were lost from a cargo ship crossing the Pacific Ocean from China to the U.S. 1992, but that's not where the story ends.
It’s estimated that 19,000 ducks floated south, ending up in Australia and South America a few months later. The other 10,000 floated north, with some circling around and landing in Hawaii while others – over the course of 15 years – floated through the Bering Strait, got frozen in ice, crossed the top of the world, thawed out, and ended up on both the U.S. East Coast and in Scotland with some still bobbing around in the Atlantic. It was such an event that oceanographers even used the ducks to study ocean currents.
As far as spills go, it doesn’t get any bigger or more amazing than this.