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Mysterious toilet vegetables shock travellers at Toronto's Pearson Airport

I don't know who needs to hear this, but you can't cook soup in a toilet.

Toilet water would never get hot enough to boil in your makeshift crock pot(ty), unless you were working with some sort of super fancy heated toilet... and I can assure you that the public restrooms at Toronto's Pearson International Airport have regular facilities — the kind without toilets that can come to a rolling boil (if such toilets do in fact exist).

Thus, you can imagine how surprised an airline passenger was last week to find raw vegetables filling a toilet in a ladies room at Canada's largest airport.

Ontario carpenter, timber framer and leather worker Willa Murray was flying home from B.C. to Ottawa with a layover in Toronto that lasted a bit longer than expected on Friday, April 22. It was around 9:30 p.m. that evening when she walked into a restroom near gate D and happened upon the toilet vegetables.

"I walked into the stall and when I looked into the toilet, as you do, I was alarmed and thought 'not that toilet!' I went into the next stall and sat down. While sitting, I started laughing at how strange the toilet beside me was," Murray, 34, told blogTO.

"When I got up I went back and took a picture of the toilet vegetables."

Thinking not much of it, she sent the image to a couple of friends who had a good chuckle. Little did she know that tens of thousands of people would see that same picture within days.

"When I finally got back to Ottawa, I showed my boyfriend. We laughed about it and on Saturday night he told me about all the fake internet points I could likely achieve with this photo," said Murray.

Her boyfriend, fellow carpenter Nathan Ferguson, saw viral potential in the toilet vegetables. His instincts proved correct.

"She doesn't Reddit, so I posted it on there for her because I thought people might like to also witness the toilet vegetables," he told blogTO.

Ferguson posted the image to a popular subreddit called "Mildly Interesting," in which people fittingly post things that they find mildly interesting, with the caption "Found a toilet full of vegetables at Pearson International Airport."

Nearly 23,000 upvotes and 1,600 comments later, I think it's safe to say that Redditors found the toilet vegetables more than mildly interesting. They were blown away by what they saw, and eager to solve the mystery of how those veggies got into the airport toilet.

Where did they come from? Where did they go? Why were there uncooked vegetables in a toilet at an international airport, Cotton-Eye Joe?

Theories abound on Reddit, both in r/mildlyinteresting and the r/toronto forum, where the image was cross-posted.

"This is why we chew our food," joked one commenter. "Nothing to see here, just a vegan who forgot to flush," wrote another.

Most people seem to think that the veggies were simply disposed of by someone who realized they'd never make it through customs with all that produce. It's a thing.

"It seems most plausible someone just panicked after realizing they probably shouldn't be travelling with this obscene amount of vegetables and not wanting someone to see them dumping them in the trash, chose the privacy of a bathroom stall and made a clean getaway," says Murray.

While some people presume the toilet soup was an unfinished snack, the combination of vegetables suggest that they were not intended for eating before boarding. Baby carrots? Sure. Even cauliflower would be understandable. But heirloom potatoes?

"At first it looked like a vegetable medley you find in a bag in the frozen section of the grocery store, but there are baby potatoes in there which makes me think someone mixed these vegetables themselves," said Murray.

"A rather strange mix for sure. I feel like some broccoli would have been a good addition."

blogTO reached out to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson, to find out what happened to the toilet vegetables.

"We don't have any comment on the incident that took place but we want to give a shout out to the wonderful hard-working employees of Toronto Pearson who ensure our rest rooms remain clean and usable," said a representative for the airport.

"If at any point in time our passengers notice a washroom is not clean they can alert us by phone at: (416) AIR-PORT or toll free 1 (866) 207-1690."

We may never know what happened to the random toilet produce or where it ended up going, but the ride has been nothing short of hilarious for Murray, Ferguson, and thousands of eager Reddit sleuths.

"We were laughing all night at all the silly comments and theories that night and when we woke up it had blown up beyond what we'd ever thought!" Murray told blogTO.

"Who knew a toilet full of veggies could be so entertaining?"

Lead photo by

Willa Murray via Nathan Ferguson


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