Have you ever heard the legends of alligators in the sewers of New York in the 1920s and 1930s? According to the myths and legends, these giant creatures would terrorize hapless sewer workers from time to time. The legends, mainly the length and size of these creatures, have grown over time. However, there is some validity to these crazy stories. This great New York Times article details the history behind the myths and shows newspaper articles telling of small alligators found in New York sewers. These sewer dwellers were often overgrown pets from owners who no longer wanted to deal with their animal. Amazingly, as the Times article states, “That century-old myth has spawned hoaxes and art projects. It has even become an official quasi-holiday in the city: Alligator in the Sewer Day is in February.” Even today, New York sewer works are still finding small alligators and pets from time to time.
As crazy as that is, this legend actually goes back a couple thousand years to the time of the Roman Empire. According to the Roman author Aelian, there was a giant octopus during his day that used the sewer to sneak into houses and steal food. This legend is also repeated by Pliny the Elder even earlier than Aelian, though their stories differ in some key ways. Whether these myths are completely true or not, it goes to show how these sewer dwellers have captured the collective imagination for millennia. To many, sewers represent a mysterious and dark underground world where bad guys lurk and monsters thrive. To us at Apex, sewers represent a very important and needed underground world where good guys work and business thrives.
We’ve been working on sewers for 36 years and have our fair share of crazy stories and interesting finds (though no octopuses or alligators). And we enjoy providing a needed service to tens of thousands of homes around Denver. The sewers may be dark and mysterious to some, but not to us. We’ve seen nearly every sewer problem imaginable over the years and have hundreds of years of collected experience with our crews. If you are in need of a sewer repair, let us help! Contact us today. And if you have an octopus or alligator in your sewers, please contact us so we can come take pictures because that would be pretty crazy in Denver, CO!