From toupee to turtle: The strangest items left inside an Uber

Whether its a gnome in a box or a tray of pies, Uber drivers find that some rides end in more than they bargained for

Zoe Griffin
Thursday 18 April 2024 14:14 BST
Before you leave your Uber, make sure you hold on tightly to your belongings
Before you leave your Uber, make sure you hold on tightly to your belongings (Charles Deluvio)

Leaving your phone or wallet in an Uber is easily done and could happen to anyone – but spare a thought for those who leaped out of their ride at their destination only to reveal that they’d left their pet turtle behind.

A live reptile was just one of “unique” items that the ride-sharing company has revealed were left in a vehcicle over the past year. Others include a whole tray of meat pies, containers containing live spiders, a personalised blanket with a photo of the owner and their dog, and a frontal hair toupee.

In Uber’s eighth annual ‘lost and found index’, where the firm surveyed drivers about lost items, the most common items to be found was clothing. This was followed by, ir order: luggage, headphones, wallets, jewellery, phones, cameras, tablets, books, laptops and vapes.

But what’s on the “unique” list released by Uber might surprise you. From a signed Taylor Swift autograph, which must have caused the loser distress equivalent to Death by a Thousand Cuts, to a poster of Hilary Clinton, there’s been a fair few cases of celebrity merchandise being left behind.

Some of the items are not small either. A stand-up paddleboard paddle was found on the backseat of one ride. And there were several food items, from leftover pizza o a whole smoked pork belly and a jar of oysters.

Uber’s lost and found index mirrors the items of property left on public transport in London, where examples of more unusual objects include a giant octopus soft toy and a homemade Dalek costume inspired by sci-fi television show Dr Who.

A study by Premier Inn also found weird and wonderful lost property, including a goldfish and a gas mask.

Uber’s research found that forgetfulness peaks at specific times and dates. According to the data, the most forgetful day of the year was January 21 and lost items were most reported during the hours of 9pm and 10pm.

A selection of the most “unique” items left behind in an Uber, 2023–24

  1. Frontal hair toupee
  2. Live pet turtle
  3. Two containers with spiders in them
  4. A tray of meat pie
  5. Ceramic cat
  6. Jar of oysters
  7. A personalised blanket with a picture of a dog and their owner
  8. Small rat skeleton prop
  9. Harry Potter wand engraved with the name "Alexander"
  10. A panic button
  11. Framed Taylor Swift autograph
  12. Small box containing a gnome

Read more: Best UK road trips 2024

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