Top 10 Oddest Things Ever Sent by Postal Mail

From garden vegetables to small children, we count down the 10 weirdest things sent in the mail.

#10: A Tiny Letter

They call themselves “The World’s Smallest Postal Service,” and a glance through their catalogue will quickly tell you why. Leafcutter allows customers to mail tiny letters, packages, and more to friends, family, and acquaintances. For a tiny fee, they will send everything out for you.

#9: A Sweet Potato

sweet potato

Believe it or not, writing a random message on a raw potato and throwing it into a mailbox is perfectly legal as long as you use a stamp. If you’re too lazy to drive to the grocery store to get your special spud, you can use a service like Potato Parcel. Want to go the extra mile? Potato Parcel claims it can mail potatoes with pictures on them.

#8: A Building

In 1916, a young businessman named W. H. Coltharp decided he wanted to build a bank. But there was a snag. The bricks he needed for construction were 120 miles away and would have to be mailed. The cost to mail the bricks by freight was four times more expensive than what he paid for them, but Coltharp found a way around it. He packaged up the bricks – all 80,000 of them – and mailed them in 40 individual crates through the U.S. mail. Everything got there, but this event prompted the postal service to change its regulations.

#7: A Cat

Until around 1953, New York City used a series of tubes to transfer mail. These tubes could send large canisters around the city at speeds of 35 miles an hour, and around 95,000 letters were delivered per day. To celebrate the installation of the tube system in 1897, employees sent out a fake peach, a Bible wrapped in a flag, and a cat. Why? Your guess is as good as ours. According to a witness, the cat was dazed but fine.

#6: Germs

In a New York Times article published 1895, a postal worker named Miss Daisy James recalled some of the very strange things she’d seen during her time there. James claimed everything from snakeskin to dead birds had passed through her office, but some items really took the cake. Physicians sometimes shipped diphtheria, scarlet fever, and smallpox to the national Health Board. Can you imagine opening that box?

#5: A Person

In 1849, Henry Brown took a brave step to get out of slavery. After receiving a “heavenly vision” that told him to “mail [himself] to a place where there are no slaves,” Brown crammed himself into a three-foot-long box marked “dry goods.” With the help of a few individuals, Brown managed to make it through the rough journey from Virginia to Pennsylvania. He was delivered to the Philadelphia Vigilance Committee and later became known as Henry Box Brown.

#4: A Child

In 1914, May Pierstorff visited her grandparents, something that millions of children do every day. However, the way she got there was definitely unique. Pierstorff’s parents mailed her there using “53-cents worth of stamps.” The trip was 73 miles long, and the little girl was only six years old. Think that’s crazy? She wasn’t the last kid to make this kind of journey. A year later, six-year-old Edna Neff traveled from Florida to Virginia, and Helen Combs’ parents paid 10 cents to mail her by parcel post. Needless to say, you can’t do this anymore.

#3: A Series Of Disturbing Letters

He was known as the “Circleville Writer.” In 1976, this creepy stranger sent out letters revealing personal information about residents of a small Ohio town. The writer later turned violent, supposedly murdering the husband of a bus driver named Mary Gillespie.

#2: A Drone

A college student living in Massachusetts received something any science nut would love – the control panel and wings for a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Puma drone. A card that read “USA Federal Property Return to: NOAA Aircraft Operations Center” was enclosed. The package was eventually returned to its rightful owner.

#1: A Chameleon

In December of 1954, the postmaster of Orlando, Florida received a pre-stamped envelope that contained a chameleon. An included letter asked the postmaster to let the little lizard loose. It was cold in Ohio, and the owner wanted his pet to stay in a warmer climate. All went well and the chameleon found a new home on the grounds of the post office.

One Comment

  1. Audrey Kinley says:

    I think that is so funny that someone sent a potato in the mail. I would’ve died laughing if I saw that. I wonder how they were able to send it without packaging. I’ve been looking at so many places to find some good packaging to send out some mail.

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