In the Interest of Poor Taste, Here Are Four Environmental Disasters That Are Actually Kind of Hilarious

Look, I’m sorry that happened to the ducks, but come on
In the Interest of Poor Taste, Here Are Four Environmental Disasters That Are Actually Kind of Hilarious

I love Mother Earth. So I certainly dont want her to crisp up and die. I also understand that the whales must be saved, and that our atmosphere should remain whole. Nor am I rolling coal on cyclists and Priuses (Prii?) or believe that wind farms are a liberal, possibly Jewish plot to kill proud American bald eagles. 

At the same time, I feel like you have to enjoy weird things when they happen. Which is why Im comfortable admitting that some ecological messes are, inherently, kind of funny.

Here are four of them…

Balloonfest 86


The unfortunate events of Balloonfest ‘86, an event the centered around the eponymous floating orbs, feels like a large-scale example of the realization balloons always lead to — that is, once the party’s over, they’re fucking everywhere. 

Cleveland was looking for a big bang of a public event, one to inject a little wonder into the Midwest. This was capped off with a Guinness World Record-setting release of roughly 1.5 million balloons. As they floated up into the sky, it was a sight to behold. Unfortunately, it was when they fell back down from the sky that everyone remembered, “Oh… right.” 

They don’t just float endlessly up until collected by angels at the edge of God’s kingdom. They deflate, and land wherever they damn well please, which led to airports shutting down because of balloons on the runway, bodies of water being littered with balloons on the downswing, and most tragically, a Coast Guard search for two missing boaters being impeded. The no-longer-inflated detritus even ended up trashing beaches in Canada.

Invasive Goldfish


The goldfish is an aquatic letdown that parents inevitably buy for children who wanted a bigger, better animal. The recipient usually figures out pretty quick that theres not a great way to emotionally connect with something youre encouraged not to touch or even interact with. Which leads to additional chores for the parents, or a murky container of standing water sitting in their childs room, waiting to get spilled on a PlayStation. 

So those goldfish are often sent out to bigger and better waters, usually via the toilet. The problem is, somehow when they escape the aquarium, they become shockingly hardy, enough to upset entire ecosystems. That 30-minute indoor lifespan suddenly morphs into 30 to 40 years. Growing up to a foot long in the wild, they've become a bona fide problem in the Great Lakes.

Sriracha Air Pollution


If you were looking to start a hot sauce factory, and you raised your hand to question whether it might make the air too spicy for locals, you’d probably get laughed out of the room. It would be like worrying that putting a Warheads factory on a lake would make the rivers too sour. Yet, in the case of Huy Fong Foods’ Sriracha factory in Irwindale, California, this is exactly what happened. 

With the massive success of the red sauce, production was at an all-time high, and suddenly, there was more spice than anyone could contain. Sort of like a reverse Dune situation. Air quality complaints started pouring in, and nearby residents complained of burning eyes and throats, along with headaches. From what I know, the solution would be to open a milk-bottling plant next door.

Garfield Phone Spill

The Nickelodeon Group

In Brittany, France, if youre strolling the seashore searching for seashells, you might spot what looks like a lovely orange specimen. Only to find, brushing off the sand, that its not a natural wonder, but a piece of orange degraded plastic that once made up part of a Garfield-shaped phone. 

At first, residents and visitors werent exactly sure what was causing it, outside of some very funny elder god. But eventually, the source was uncovered: a shipping container full of Garfield phones had spilled into the sea, and was now degrading into the delicate local ecosystem. 

It seems like just another unpredictable intersection of a changing world that a sea turtle may have strangled to death in the cord of a cartoon cats obsolete merch.

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