Photo: Uber

A Catheter, an Ankle Monitor, and 48 Other Wild Things Left in Ubers Last Year

by Nickolaus Hines May 18, 2021

What do a mannequin head, catheter, and tattoo machine have in common? They were all left behind in Ubers in 2021. And that’s just the start.

Uber recently released its fifth annual Lost & Found Index. The report lists the things that people most commonly leave in their ride (hello, phone) along with 50 things that people left that were a little more, well, out there. You could probably guess most of the top 10 common items. They’re the type of things that cause panic when you realize you don’t have them, yet are simultaneously easy to leave behind: camera, wallet, keys, backpack, headphones, glasses, and ID. Water bottles also make the list (presumably reusable ones), as do vape pens.

The forgetful gene isn’t equally distributed across America. Uber also included in its report the 10 most “forgetful” cities where people leave their belongings behind most:

  1. Austin, TX
  2. Fort Myers, FL
  3. Nashville, TN
  4. San Antonio, TX
  5. Tampa Bay, FL
  6. Houston, TX
  7. Phoenix, AZ
  8. Kansas City, KS
  9. Charlotte, NC
  10. Sacramento, CA

Not to call out anyone in particular, but interestingly,cities in Florida and Texas make up five of the top six. The pandemic undoubtedly had an impact on where people were taking Ubers this year (and forgetting things in said Ubers). Last year’s report had a top cities list dominated by college towns like Oxford, Mississippi, and College Station, Texas. With many schools partially or entirely online in 2021, other cities had a chance to shine.

There’s no denying it was a strange year filled with moments of extreme grief and anxiety. It was also one in which people picked up new hobbies, became all too familiar with the area close to home, and found moments of joy where they could. With that in mind, the 50 objects on Uber’s “most unique lost items” list are strange enough to fit the times.

First off, there’s all of the food — full coolers of fish, shrimp, 22 bundt cakes, 20 pounds of salt, frozen meat (“a lot of it”), and a sushi platter, for example. Then there’s the head scratchers, like the person who left one large painting of Kate Middleton and one small painting of the grim reaper, or the poor soul who left a tooth (“It was in my pocket, and it seems to have fallen out”). And of course, there are the items that make you question people’s life choices, like the person who left their birth certificate inside of an Ugg earmuff box, or the person who got their dog cremated but left the ashes in their ride.

Finally, there are the objects that are a little concerning without context. Part of an ankle monitor, for example, or a green dinosaur halloween costume “and a knife that is needed for a job.”

After perusing the list, it’s pretty clear that Uber drivers put up with a wide range of individuals and deserve far more credit for the work they do. They are, after all, the first person to call when you leave a ride and realize your wine and edibles you just bought are no longer with you. So if you’re one of those forgetful folks who forget a beloved item in your ride, your best bet is to get in touch with them as soon as possible.


Photo: Uber

These are the 50 most interesting items that made it on Uber’s Lost & Found Index:

  1. A tooth. It was in my pocket, and seems to have fallen out
  2. 22 bundt cakes and a pan of macaroni and cheese
  3. Washing liquid
  4. A nude corset
  5. Part of an ankle monitor
  6. FBI bullet proof vest
  7. A cooler full of fish
  8. Fresh shrimp
  9. A rolled up poster held with an elastic band. It says “end this bummer” with endless summer artwork
  10. A green dinosaur halloween costume and a knife that is needed for job
  11. Rabbit legs
  12. Unicorn tail and a piñata
  13. A framed Beauty and the Beast signed picture in a plastic case
  14. Antique roller blades, Christmas plates & a cookie jar
  15. The fur cover for my knee scooter (cuz I broke my foot)
  16. A toilet seat and welcome door sign shaped like a lemon with a blue ribbon on it
  17. A sushi platter
  18. Large painting of Kate Middleton and a small painting of the grim reaper
  19. A lil purple hair bonnet
  20. My bath set and a sack of potatoes
  21. Frozen meat, a lot of it
  22. Catheter
  23. A leopard print pink bikini
  24. Special items from Victoria’s Secret
  25. Wig brush, in the trunk
  26. A machine foot for sewing
  27. My neck brace and my diary
  28. Hospital scissors
  29. Otter plush animal
  30. My Harry Potter wand and a feather pen
  31. False eyelashes and dish soap
  32. Headband with horns and an oxygen tank
  33. Mannequin head
  34. My welding hood
  35. Black cane with a skull handle
  36. My birth certificate that was inside an Ugg earmuff box
  37. A popcorn bucket from Disney World
  38. Dog collar with a tag that says “nugget”
  39. A tattoo machine
  40. Raw chicken and 20 pounds of salt
  41. A clear face shield with a ladybug stripe on the forehead
  42. Crystal chandelier
  43. One can of crab meat and a package of lobster for business
  44. One pound of smoked salmon
  45. A prosthetic leg
  46. Wine and my edibles
  47. My dog’s ashes
  48. An angel charm
  49. Ham for Thanksgiving is in the trunk
  50. Mosquito net

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