London is a strange, unusual, and varied place – people have been living in the capital since the Bronze age. Nowadays, there are over 300 languages spoken in the city and it’s home to innumerable art projects, guerrilla installations, and notable people. This long history and eclectic mix mean that there are some oddities found in London that simply can’t be found elsewhere. Here are some of our favourite examples.
The Fart-Powered Lamp Post
Rather than being a modern-art joke, this is actually a piece of Victorian engineering. The Carting Lane Lamp is just off the Strand, behind the Savoy (definitely not where you’d expect to find such a crude pieces of machinery). In the 19th century, Joseph Webb created a lamp that would run on methane collected from London’s sewers to offer a low-cost lighting option. Thanks to the huge supply of methane in the sewers, the lamp can actually run all day, every day. It’s the only lamp of its type in London, although the inventor had hoped they would be more widely used. The plaque politely states that it runs on ‘residual bio-gas’, which is a fantastic euphemism.
Essential Supplies for Monsters
Your parents may have told you that monsters don’t exist, but then why is there a specialised supply shop for them in Hoxton? The website states that they offer Bespoke and Everyday Items for the Living, Dead, and Undead, including salt made from tears, a vague sense of unease (canned), cubed earwax, and fang floss. The website is also handily translated for humans, mummies, vampire bats, werewolves, and zombies, just in case. Established in 1818, it clearly has enough business to keep it afloat.
A Mummified Mermaid
If just shopping with monsters isn’t quite enough for you, perhaps a mummified mermaid is more to your liking? Taking a trip to Viktor Wynd’s Museum of Curiosities will put you face to face with some of London’s oddest treasures, including the remains of a mermaid (real or otherwise, you can decide) for the princely sum of £5.
This post was written by Innermedia Ltd