5 Eerie Urban Legends of the Natural World

Sewergate: Alligators of the New York Sewers

(Images by Annie Mole and James, cc-2.0)

The urban legend has it that wealthy New Yorkers brought alligators back from their Florida vacations, and flushed them down the toilet when they got too big for comfort.  Nobody knows quite when this happened, but the 1920s and ’30s are generally given as the time.  Subterranean New York is now – apparently – alive with huge alligators, feasting on rats and rubbish, and terrifying local sewer workers.  Of course, none have been caught, and weeks of hunting after alleged sightings have revealed nothing.

(Image by Dominic Alves; CC-2.0)

Experts claim – logically, one would think – that city sewers are not ideal environments for big reptiles, which would struggle to reproduce.  But in his book The World Beneath the City, Robert Daley includes a chapter titled “Alligators in the Sewers”, based on his interviews with Teddy May, New York’s Commissioner of Sewers for thirty years.  May even claimed to have seen a 10-foot alligator himself, and recounts the story of a worker who was horrified to see an albino alligator swimming towards him.  Weeks of hunting turned up nothing, but the “Sewergate” legend is still as popular as ever.


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About the author: Tom


Website: https://www.urbanghostsmedia.com



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