Happy 150th birthday London Underground

We want to wish the London Underground a very happy birthday! Our dear subway system turns a grand old 150 today.

Here are some interesting facts about the London Underground:

• Early Tube lines used to follow the road rather than go under buildings to avoid paying compensation to owners. The Piccadilly Line is an exception to this rule as it comes into South Kensington from Knightsbridge. The reason for this was to avoid a plague pit.
• The average speed on the Underground is 20.5 miles per hour including station stops.
• TV presenter Jerry Springer was born in a Tube station during the Second World War as people sheltered from bombing raids.
• Every week, Tube escalators travel the equivalent distance of going around the world twice.
• To celebrate the big birthday tourists and Londoners will be able to board classic period trains and relive the first Tube journey (13th and 20th Jan).
• Here are 150 other fascinating facts from The Telegraph.

To celebrate this massive milestone, we have put together a list of the weirdest things left on the Tube over its 150 years. Transport for London finds almost 200,000 items on the City’s transport network each year. We are baffled how some of these items fitted on public transport, let alone how they were forgotten about:

Breast implants
A courier accidentally left a pair of breast implants on the Circle Line while on his way to a Harley Street clinic in London. The well-traveled implants were soon claimed back at the London Underground lost property.

Two human skulls
London officials discovered a bag holding two human skulls on the Tube. At first the police were shocked by this grim find but the skulls later turned out to belong, quite legitimately, to a university professor who used them in lectures.

Stuffed eagle
A pretty weird thing to carry around with you but each to their own!

Samurai sword
It must take a very unique type of person to not only carry a sword on public transport but to leave it there. The Samurai Sword was found at a Tube station and safely taken to the lost property office.

Wedding dress
We are not sure how one of the most important garments a woman will ever wear could be left behind on a Tube. Luckily for this particular owner the person who found this Peruvian wedding dress returned it to the London Underground lost property.

14-foot boat
Firstly, how could this possibly fit on the Tube? Secondly, how could something so big be forgotten?

Other things found include:
False teeth, false eyes, replacement limbs, two-and-a-half hundredweight of sultanas/currants, lawn mower, Chinese typewriter, four-foot teddy bear, theatrical coffin, wheelchairs, crutches, divan bed, outboard motor, water skis, park bench, grandfather clock, bishop’s crook, garden slide, inflatable doll, jar of bull’s sperm, urn of ashes, three dead bats in container, gas mask, Tibetan bell, stuffed puffer fish, vasectomy kit and harpoon gun.

What unusual things have you left behind or seen on public transport? Tweet your suggestions @InspiringIntern with the hashtag #tubediscovery to win an Inspiring hoodie.

Hannah is a Digital Marketing Executive at Inspiring. She blogs about food here: datedinners.com and tweets about food here: @misshana_. She squeezes in time for graduate careers advice and commuting rants too.

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