Alligators Climbing Out of the NYC Sewer & Other True Urban Legends

April Peveteaux

alligator climbs out of nyc sewer
Not the NYC or Chicago Alligator
Alligators are popping up all over the northern half of the United States, as this week an 18-inch alligator was captured by police in Queens. Two alligators have been discovered in Chicago just in the last month!

Witnesses in Queens say they saw the alligator climbing out of the sewer, which means I'm going to be taking a much longer look into my toilet bowl the next time I'm in New York City.

While the Queens 'gator was most likely an exotic pet that got away, or was released, rather than one escapee of a subterranean alligator pack, it's still AN ALLIGATOR THAT CAME CLIMBING OUT OF THE SEWER. This is huge in the urban legend world, and it made me wonder what other urban legends are actually true.

1.) Coca-cola used to contain cocaine.

While I'm freaking out about caffeine in today's energy drinks, the real thing actually contained illegal drugs back in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Of course, cocaine wasn't illegal then, just highly addictive.

2.) St. Bernards are being raised for food in China.

While Snopes admits these reports are plentiful, the eye witness accounting is sketchy. Still, as a group in Switzerland petitions for this practice to stop, it seems less likely that it is not true.

3.) Scratching on a coffin lid, crying babies at their own funeral.

Sadly, as we recently witnessed, the accidental burying of people who are not yet dead isn't something that has disappeared as embalming has become fashionable. We saw here recently an incredibly tragic tale of a preemie baby that might have been saved, if they didn't believe she was already dead.

4.) There's a dead body under your hotel mattress.

Oddly, this has happened multiple times. Or as this article on Cracked points out, not so oddly since murdered prostitutes have to be hidden somewhere. I'll be checking my mattress carefully the next time I stay at a hotel.

5.) And I woke up in a bathtub filled with ice with a cell phone, and a note saying "Call 911."

While your spring break is unlikely to end in this manner, organ harvesting is a real crime and it's taking place all over the world. Still, probably best not to accept drinks from strangers, 'kay?

What urban legends do you believe are true?

Image via minds-eye/Flickr

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