Self storage facilities are used by residents and businesses for all kinds of reasons, from families simply looking for a storage space for a few months, to individuals who like to collect and never throw anything away. While storage units usually contain old documents and files, antique furniture and general household items, over the years some companies have found some truly bizarre items.
When someone stops paying the rent on their storage unit the company gives them a certain period of time to clear the debt, but if the payment still isn’t forthcoming the unit often ends up being sold off in a self storage auction sale. There are plenty of people out there who take a risk when buying a storage unit at auction; they either end up paying a thousand dollars or more for a unit that just contains a pile of junk or a hundred dollars and strike lucky.
Here are just some of the surprises people have got when opening an abandoned storage unit:
- The dearly departed - yes, it is more common than you might think for human remains (such as ashes) to be found in storage units. In one case in Florida in the United States a family stored their grandmother's body for almost 20 years after her death!
- Weapons - guns are more common in US storage units, so that isn't entirely unusual. However, there have been cases of live hand grenades and other more serious munitions found in storage.
- Long lost music - it seems a storage unit belonging to Michael Jackson's father Joe was the home of over two hundred songs by the pop artist that had never been released.
- Treasure - in one case in San Jose, a man found over half a million dollars worth of bullion, gold and silver ingots, and rare coins, valued at thousands of dollars, after he invested just over $1,000 to buy the contents of the unit without knowing what was inside.
- Space materials – a storage unit in the neighbourhood of Cape Canaveral in Florida revealed its contents as a rocket from the NASA base and a countdown clock.
- Body parts – a medical examiner kept his unit stocked with brains, lungs and body tissue and other body parts that when discovered came to the grand total of 100 different people! Seems he liked to carry out private autopsies and then store the parts in plastic Tupperware.
As you can see storage units are used for all kinds of things, they’ve been known to be the venue for parties and get-together's for guys, some people have based their offices in them, and there was a case where a woman lived in one with her young child for 5 years! This shows you just how flexible and adaptable they can be and how imaginative people can be when hiring one.