As we know, anything that has a mechanism can play up and they do. While researching water cooler fails, I happened upon some accidents of the more unusual variety. As you may by now know, I’m all for the slightly off the beaten track incidents – they just really appeal to my sense of funny. Be warned, some of these are not for the faint of heart:
A molasses pipeline in Honolulu Harbour, Hawaii, was pumping the syrupy substance onto a ship when it sprung a leak, dumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of the goo into the ocean. The sugary fluid, which sunk to the bottom, killed thousands of fish, attracting sharks and other scavengers.
The Hawaii spill is not the first molasses mishap. A truck in Wagontire, Oregon, swerved to avoid a deer in 2008, spilling hundreds of gallons of molasses over the highway. And in 1919, during the Boston Molasses Disaster, a tank carrying 2.5 million gallons of molasses burst, flooding the city’s streets and killing 21 people.
In 2004, a whale carcass exploded while being transported from a beach where it died to a laboratory in the Taiwanese city of Tainan, according to BBC News. Gas build-up inside the decomposing cetacean was thought to be responsible for the explosion, which took 13 hours and 50 workers to clean up.
In 1992, 29,000 rubber duck toys, being shipped from China to the U.S. company The First Years Inc., washed overboard in the Pacific Ocean, the Daily Mail reported. Some 10,000 of the duckies floated northward, while the remainder took a southerly route. They have washed up in Hawaii, Australia and even the Arctic.
In the past few years, honeybees have spilled onto highways in Montana, Canada and California, where 10 million to 16 million angry buzzers responded by stinging fire fighters, police and drivers. Honeybee hives are regularly shipped to farms around the country to pollinate crops, since colony collapse disorder has decimated local bee populations.
I suppose, in this sea of rather grisly and sticky accounts of spills and mishaps, it’s nice to know that should your water cooler malfunction to such a degree, the worst thing spilling will be water – really not hard to clean up and no sticky, messy residue.
Just remember to keep that weird worker in IT from trying to suck the water from the carpets – it’s just really not done.