They found these 21 special things in a drained canal in Paris


What extraordinary finds!

Have you ever asked yourself what sort of stuff accumulates at the bottom of a canal after fifteen years? In early 2016, the Saint-Martin canal in Paris was drained for the first time since 2001, so that it could be cleaned. Over the years, the canal had become the home of quite a collection of special things. What they found? You’ll find out here.

You cannot ignore it: the Saint-Martin canal. The canal cuts straight through the city of Paris, especially through the northeast of the city. Together with the Saint-Denis canal, it forms the connection between two parts of their more well-known family member: the Seine.

The canal runs from the Place de la Bastille to the Bassin de la Villette and is about 4550 meters long. In 1802, Napolean Bonaparte had ordered the digging of the canal. The Saint-Martin canal was completed in 1825.

The canal is quite popular with both Parisians as well as tourists. It is a place where you can relax with a book during the day and enjoy a drink by the water at night. Unfortunately, a lot of trash is thrown into the water. That’s why, after fifteen years, it was time to thoroughly clean the canal in 2016. With many extraordinary finds as a result?

In 2016, Paris decided to drain the canal.


Image: Canal Saint-Martin by Blair-39 under licence CC BY-SA 2.0

An ordinary day at the canal

It was a day like any other on the banks of a river canal. In the past, it had had a grandeur, a reputation, an appeal and a sense of welcome for the people of the region to spend time there.

Much of what the workers have found up to now is quite fascinating and incredible. It’s not just pieces of gum or a small piece of paper. No, it’s hard to imagine what people have thrown into the canal over the years.

Want to see what the channel is hiding?

Image: IMG_2798 by flightlog under licence CC BY 2.o

A dam in the canal

To clean the canal, it had to be cleaned by a side-to-side water dam dewatering process. This way, the trash could be separated from the water.

This was certainly not easy. It was a long and hard job, that required a lot of resources. Cranes had to close the canal with huge concrete slabs that served as dams. However, the system, which was set up to allow the drainage of the canal by blocking one side to the other, is effective. This way, the waste is obstructed, allowing for easy cleaning of the canal.