Late-night drives are typically uneventful... until something suddenly appears in the dimly-lit distance that piques the driver's curiosity. Some drivers might just ignore what they see out of fear of what they might discover, while others might muster the courage to investigate the situation and get answers. The following stories are of the latter scenario—read on for some interesting tales on the road.
#1 The Iron Sheik
The wife was driving when I asked her if we could turn around because I saw something on the side of the road that I was instantly sure was a rubber 1990s WWF Iron Sheik action figure. We turned around, and she slowed down as I opened the door and scooped up what was 100% a rubber 1990s WWF Iron Sheik action figure. He now lives in the ceiling beams of the laundry room where he watches over the washer.
#2 A New Home
My husband and I were going home from the zoo one day when something darted in front of our car. We found a tiny, tiny, TINY (fit entirely in my hand; we think she was the runt of the litter) disabled kitten. She had to have her left front leg amputated because she had an infection caused by a bite, but she's still our little, furry, squishy baby nine years on. I love her so much!
#3 Another Chance
My friend nearly hit two stray kittens one night. Being a vet assistant, he stopped to check if there was anything he could do since it looked like the mother had died. Sadly, one of the kittens got spooked and ran into the woods never to be seen again (my friend, being the kind-hearted soul he is, even went out days later to try and find it). The one he was able to rescue was taken straight to the vets the next day and was nurtured back to health. He was really timid and defensive for the first few weeks, but luckily my friend and his girlfriend tamed him and now he's one of many cats in his household.
#4 False Alarm
One night, I was driving home just after receiving my first-aid certificate. I glimpsed what looked like someone hunched over by the side of the road, struggling. I immediately pulled over and a little part of me was like, this is amazing, I can do CPR, I'll be a hero, don't worry man I got you, I have a first-aid certificate! Anyway, it was a garbage bag.
#5 Quick Thinking
We actually saw someone doing CPR on the side of the road. Since we were paramedics and we’d all just left our staff meeting, several of us stopped. Turns out, a lady was doing CPR on her passenger who most definitely did NOT need CPR (but did need help). We took over until a unit arrived and congratulated her for acting quickly (never discourage someone from trying to help). Then she told us proudly that she knew just what to do because she was a nurse. Sigh.
#6 A New Family
In a muddy ditch, my sisters and I got out to see a filthy dog drowning in this mud pit. My sister jumped in, dragged the dog out, and took it in. The owner of the dog had apparently gotten sick of her and let her out in the middle of the busy road. He didn’t want her anymore, so he gave her to us. She was a mixed Pitbull terrier we named Flower who lived with us for 13 years. I miss my Flower now. She was one of the kindest dogs I ever had.
#7 Poor Cat
I didn't stop, but my girlfriend at the time and I saw a mountain lion, or maybe it was a cougar or puma, standing on the side of the road in Connecticut around 2008. There haven't been mountain lions here for 100 years. No one believed us, until a few years later when we unintentionally ran one over on the highway. It was unfortunate, but it literally leaped out of nowhere and we were going full-speed.
#8 See It To Believe It
I was driving with my ex-girlfriend back from a wedding in northern Wisconsin heading towards Madison where she lived. We were probably like 20 or 30 miles away from the city at that point and it was probably around 1 a.m. My GPS, which was some really cheap brand that my dad got me as a gift from Radio Shack, had me going through some backcountry highways for some reason after I had stopped for gas instead of getting me back on the expressway right away.
I didn't mind; I kind of always found those really peaceful, even though at night they are pretty creepy. My girlfriend was asleep in the passenger seat, so I had turned down the music really quiet to not wake her, which added a bit to the eerieness of it all. I was really into this groove of driving, focused on the roads because it was so dark without streetlamps everywhere. Then, something on the side of the road caught my eye. It was a giant mountain lion, with what appeared to be blood all over its face. I started shaking my girlfriend awake to get her to see it before it was gone, but she woke up too late.
I pulled over to the side of the road and asked her to watch the rearview so she could see this huge thing cross the road, but it never did. She was convinced that I imagined it all because that area of Wisconsin is not known for mountain lions, but I swear I saw it.
#9 Suspicious Feline
One morning, I was driving to work here in Rockwall, County Texas (the smallest county in the state), and I saw a guy pulled over (but still blocking the lane that I was traveling in) with the tailgate of his SUV open. He was loading what could only have been a mountain lion into the SUV. Its tail was four feet long, so it couldn't have been a bobcat or a house cat. I wish I had stopped to ask questions. I still regret not stopping to this day. I don't know if it was an escaped pet. I don't know if it was tranquilized or dead. I don't know so many things about that situation. I would guess this was around 2000.
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#10 You Got Bamboozled
I saw what appeared to be a diamond necklace fly by in a glittery blur on the freeway shoulder. Thinking some girlfriend angrily tossed it out of a speeding car to make her cheating boyfriend upset, I turned around at the next off-ramp and went back to stop and collect my payday. It was just one of those stupid, fake diamond license plate frames. I have an active imagination and an empty wallet...
#11 Bunch Of Gourds
I found some gourds, but they were too tough to cut into with my pocketknife and smelled like terrible body odor, so I left them. Another time, while out biking, I saw a ski in the gutter. A few blocks farther, I found the other ski, so I picked it up and went back for the first one. On the way home with a pair of skis across the handlebars, I found another pair of skis in the gutter so I took those home too. My mom was absolutely baffled when I rolled up to the house.
#12 How To Save A Life
My brother was driving 100 down the highway at night and swore he saw a guy right next to the road. He turned around the first chance he could and went to look to see if he was okay. This was in the middle of nowhere and he had his wife and three kids in the back. The wife saw him too. They really only got back to the spot about 5 to 10 minutes later and couldn’t see anything.
They called the police of the nearby town and met the officer there. My brother and the officer looked around a bit more while his wife stayed in the car. Eventually, they gave up and drove home. The officer said he would look a bit more. The next day he got a call from the officer. He found the guy in diabetic shock some ways from the road. They got him to the hospital and he lived. He had left a bar and started walking down the highway. He was found about 4 km from the bar outside a tiny town. My brother definitely saved the guy’s life.
#13 Told You So
I work for a garage. A customer picked up his trailer which was in for repairs and drove away. 15 minutes later, he was back, and he was angry. The trailer plug was missing, and he believed it was our fault. We tried to explain it was there when he left but he wasn’t buying it. My co-worker was out on a test drive and spotted a small black object on the side of the road.
It wasn’t bigger than a pack of gum but it caught his eye. He stopped and picked it up, and continued back to the workshop. He rolled in to see this guy demanding that we source a new trailer plug for him when my mate came up to me and said, “Hey, I found this trailer plug on the side of the road.” We asked the customer if he’d driven that way, and he had. We fitted it to the trailer and sent him on his way.
#14 Better Off
I stopped to check out a box on the side of the road in a rural subdivision. Found a puppy. The box was lined with newspaper and the flaps were taped up to keep the puppy comfortable and safe. Why go to all that trouble if you're going to set the baby out to die? Anyway, I took her home and she lived with us through three moves; helped my husband defeat cancer twice.
#15 Hit And Run
We were driving and my boyfriend stopped the car all of a sudden. He put his hazard lights on. The car behind us thought we were stopping for no reason. He got angry and cut in front of us, running over the old man who was lying in the middle of the road. The old man fell and was not able to get up and now... his leg was crushed. And when the driver realized what he had done, he drove away at the speed of light.
#16 Hello, Franklin
About five weeks ago, I was driving to my parents' house to deliver homemade oatmeal raisin cookies. A face appeared in the weeds, and I stopped to grab the skinny, dehydrated Rottweiler mix puppy. I took him home and insisted we were not keeping him. My wife, who does not like big dogs, backed me up. This was a Saturday.
On Monday, we took him to our vet and had him checked out. No chip, and no houses near where I found him. She told us we had 30 days to decide if we wanted to keep him or surrender him to her. I was sure we weren't keeping him. We already had three dogs and three cats.
Then, I came home from work, and my wife, who I remind you DOES NOT LIKE BIG DOGS, has him on her lap. Apparently, he looked sad. So his name is Franklin now, and we have four dogs. He's already smarter than our Yorkie-Shi-Tzu mix siblings that I refer to as The Moron Twins. So that's what I found on the road.
#17 Worst Nightmare
I saw something in my backseat once. I was on my way home from work late. It was dark and I was on a county road with no street lights. As soon as I saw whatever it was, I stopped the car, jumped out, and quickly ran over to the other side of the road, leaving the driver door open. I spent an extremely petrifying half hour just staring at my car, waiting for what I saw to surface.
It was pitch dark except for my dome light in the car. There was a light hum of wind and the ding of my keys in the ignition. And my heart rate never decreased. I was trembling for a while. Eventually, I slowly approached the car, opened the back door, and said, "Get the heck out." And just then I realized that I heard a car door slam shut when I first ran to the other side of the road. Another intense wave of panic nearly crippled me. I hopped back in the car and took all the way off. I blacked that memory out for a while.
#18 Quite The Scare
About fifteen years ago, I had a job that started at 5 a.m. One morning, one of my colleagues arrived and he was white as a sheet, nearly crying. We asked him what was wrong and he said halfway to work he looked in his rearview mirror, and there was a pair of eyes staring back at him! He slammed on his brakes, got out the car, and a tipsy guy stumbled out. He just walked off.
He hadn’t noticed when he came out of the house but the little rear quarter window on the other side of the car had been smashed and whoever it was reached in and unlocked the door. He climbed in to fall asleep and must’ve woken up halfway through the journey.
#19 Random Act Of Kindness
I was driving from work through this street that had a lot of bushes on both sides of the road and empty lots. I don't know what made me notice it but I could see the silhouette of a person on the ground, so against my better judgment, I pulled over to check it out. When I got to the spot, I saw this guy in pain and a bike off in the distance on the ground.
I asked him what happened and he said that his right foot got stuck on the front wheel which caused the bike to flip over and send him flying. Unfortunately, his foot was a bloody mess and his toenail was hanging by a little thread, with the rest of the foot covered in wounds.
I brought back his bike and cellphone, while I asked him if I should call 911. He said no since he was a foreign college student and he didn't have insurance or money to pay for it. So I did the best thing and carried him to my car, put his bike on the back which barely fit since I have a small sports car and took him home.
There I left him with his host family and called it a day. I don't remember his name or didn't exchange contact info with him, but I hope he was okay after that.
#20 Symbolic Bunnies
I was taking my wife home when we had first started dating. We were driving along the backroads on the way there. We were coming up on a 90° turn when suddenly there were a pair of eyes in the middle of the road ahead. I stopped the ca. We both got out, and at least 25 little bunnies scampered across the road. It was pretty magical. That was the night I had first told her I loved her. Six years later, we still drive past that spot in hopes of seeing the bunnies again.
#21 Kitten Savior
I was maybe 15 and was in the passenger seat while my mom was driving us home from the store or something. I saw a mass of black and white on the road. I couldn't tell what it actually was by looking at it, but somehow I just knew it was actually two kittens. I frantically told my mom to pull over, and we got out to get them. One came right up to us, and the other's eyes were so gunky he couldn't see. The girl who ran up to us was so happy and refused to leave her brother even on the road, so we took them both and nursed them back to health basically. We couldn't keep them, but we made sure they went to a good home. I still miss them sometimes even nearly a decade later.
#22 New Carpool Buddy
It was pouring and three cars in front of me each slowed down. When I got to the spot they had slowed down to, there was a woman. I thought, what the heck, each of those drivers slowed down just to look at a woman walking in the pouring rain. So I pulled over and offered her a ride, and she accepted. It turned out, we worked in the same town and lived in the same city. I gave her rides to work for about six months. It occurred to me much later the other cars may have been slowing down to avoid splashing her due to the huge puddles.
#23 Gum Hunters
My grandpa found a gum pack one time that had around $200 in it. When I heard about this, I would always look inside discarded gum packs on the floor. Then once, my buddy and I were out and about and I grabbed a gum pack not expecting to find anything. But I thought it was worth a try and it was full of gum. I managed to get a few bucks from that encounter.
#24 Shrub Fire
A few years ago my girlfriend and I were cruising around rural New Zealand when out the corner of my eye, I saw a plume coming from the grass. We backed it up and yup, sure, a shrub fire had just started on the side of the road. One of the overhead powerlines had come down and lit everything up. So while she called the fire service, I got my traffic-controller cap on and started the deadline with the building traffic. Eventually, the farmer turned up and allowed people to drive through their paddock to keep traffic moving. When the fire and police showed up, we let them take over, although the fire was pretty significant by then.
#25 Car Troubles
We were driving on a gravel background through some bush in the absolute middle of nowhere when we found a person just standing on the side of the road. We stopped (the road was too narrow to "pull over") and asked if she was okay. Well yeah, she was great, but she crashed her car in a nearby ditch.
There it was, down in the ditch and hidden in the bushes... A crashed car. We had no cell phone reception, so we ultimately settled on driving all the way out to get reception and sending the police in to help her out. She chose to stay in her car. I still have no idea to this day if she made it out of there...
#26 A Kind Heart
I was driving by an abandoned club on my way to get a replacement hydraulic hose. I glanced over and I noticed a box just sitting in the parking lot. Before I turned back to face the road, a head popped out of a hole in the side. Turns out, someone put their puppy inside a box, taped it up, and left it in the empty lot. So of course I pulled in, grabbed the little guy, and brought him home.
#27 Two Opposites
I didn’t stop to look, but the same road, two different nights I saw a dude making out with some chick on his hood. He had high beams on his backside. The second one was a car that ran into the side of a bridge and fire was literally shooting out of the front of the car (a gas line, I think). I did stop and ask if anyone was in the car? They said no and I called 911. Both around 3 a.m. on the same random back road.
#28 New Mom
I was driving along a road one day in the early hours of the morning, and as I living in Australia and was driving down a country road, I was scanning the sides of the road for kangaroos that like to jump out in front of you. I saw a dark shape, and slowed right down, expecting a roo to jump across the road, but it didn't move.
I thought it might have been a native animal that had died, so I stopped the car and went to check it, because often they may have a baby in the pouch. It turned out to be a dog that was in labor. I put her in the back of my car and went home and helped her whelp the puppies. I scanned her microchip (I have my own scanner) and called the local vets who found the owner.
#29 News Confirmation
I was riding my bike as a kid and there was a large trash bag on the side of the road in a residential type area. I got close but it looked lumpy in a weird way. I jokingly told my friends I was with, “That’s a body.” We left it alone. Nighttime news confirmed it was, in fact, a dead body. There were a few weird incidents in my neighborhood when I was a kid.
#30 Nature's Call
I stopped my car to answer nature's call. It was a somewhat busy road, so I climbed down a steep embankment for some privacy. In the middle of it, I looked to my right and there sat a freaking black bear. My blood ran cold and I stared at it trying to figure if it had seen me. It wasn't moving at all. Turned, out the poor thing was dead; must have been car struck. I clambered up the embankment, my heart still racing and fortunately in dry pants.
#31 Protect And Serve
One day at dusk, I was driving by a small lake on my way home. I saw something in the middle of the two-lane road that looked like an owl. I U-turned, and it was a full-grown barn owl standing on the middle yellow line. He was clearly stunned; I think maybe it swooped too close to a car? I got my flashlight out to direct the few cars around him while I figured out what to do.
Luck was with me because a police car arrived just a few minutes later. The officer got a blanket out of his trunk, carefully draped it over the owl, and picked it up, moving it to the lakeside of the road. He stood with me while we watched the owl kind of shake his head to clear it, then suddenly open his huge wings and take off over the lake. (I was so grateful to the cop. Protect and serve doesn’t just apply to people!)
#32 Someone Else's Treasure
When I was little, I think around ten years old, my mom was driving and I remember we all saw this black book looking thing in the middle of the road. She stopped and picked it up, and it was a CD case full of incredible CDs. ACDC, Queen, Puddle of Mud, etc. We were blown away—at the time we hardly had any money, so my mom had second-hand CDs that weren't the greatest.
She was so excited, though she did the right thing and turned it into the police station. She did tell them if nobody claimed it, she would love to have it. Come 30 days or 60 days later, they called her and said nobody had claimed it, so she got it. To this day, almost 15 years later, she still has the case with the CDs. Of course, we don't really listen to it much anymore but My mom still enjoys having it.
#33 Angel On Earth
I saw a turtle once almost into the road. I pulled over and put it across the road so it could go on its way. An old woman had pulled over to check on the turtle too. When I told her I moved it, she said, "Hold on" She went back to her car and then handed me a little handmade angel made out of a paper clip. She carried them around with her to hand out whenever she came across an angel. I still have that in my car for more than 5 years later, maybe 10 years.
#34 Smashing Pumpkins
My mother was driving home late on a brisk November night (like midnight or so) on backroads in Michigan. She saw an injured orange cat out of the corner of her eye while driving. She stopped at a convenience store up the road, bought some gloves, overpriced kitty litter, food, and even got a box from the cashier to put the cat in. She drove back to get the cat... and it was a smashed pumpkin.
#35 Flying Bills
I saw something fly out of the window of a car in front of the one I was a passenger in while driving on a highway. It looked a lot like money. I convinced my boyfriend at the time who was driving to turn around and circle back. We pulled over around where I saw the money fly out and walked up the shoulder... sure enough, after like ten minutes, we found like three $100 bills and a few $20 bills.
#36 Bear Friendly
I was about 12, when I was in Romania with my dad and my grandpa, there was a young bear at the side of the road. Unlike families with little kids there, we didn't get out of the car. I don't know what people think about when they get as close as about two meters to a freaking bear that could rip them apart. Also, as I said, it was a young one, so the mother was probably also around there. People are not as careful about bears in Romania as they should be...
#37 Almost Bambi
A dead moose and a struggling baby moose. Apparently, a moose had been hit a bit down the road, and the mama struggled away as far as she could but died in the ditch. I called the animal rescue and they took the baby. They helped it until it was big enough to be on its own and released it. I also saw two bears fighting on the road. I just stopped and watched it until they moved on.
#38 A Tragic Discovery
I used to work at a fast-food place. I got off work after midnight one night, and on my drive home, I spotted something on the side of the road. There was a car up ahead on the other side of the road. I stopped when I saw it was a helmet... and then realized there was also a motorcycle and a dead guy by the trees. The other car had stopped as well. The motorcycle took a curve way to fast, hit a pine tree so hard there was no bark on a large area of the tree, and his helmet was 100 feet down the road. He was dead immediately.
#39 A Fierce Kitty
My girlfriend and I stopped in a mountain road because we thought we saw a kitten whose tail was cut off and was bleeding. My girlfriend and I approached him with water and he was very friendly. I went to pick him up. As we got closer, we heard a terrible noise come from the woods from a large animal. I looked at the kitten with the missing tail. Turns out, he wasn’t in bleeding. It was a bobcat kitten and it just ate something. Its mom was waiting for us in the woods.
#40 Loose Gator
On my first trip to Florida as a teen, I was walking to the corner store about 10 houses away to the parking lot. I was wondering why was there a log across the road. I kept walking until I was about five feet away... That's when I realized it was NOT a log. I never ran so fast or jumped a fence that high in my life. The next day, the neighbor said the gator was about 10 feet long and had been in the area for a week.
#41 Double Take
Once, I was driving home late after failing to get into a night club and being embarrassed in front of the girl I liked. I had to pass over a bridge to get home and, of course, my loaner car died right on the bridge. I got out and proceeded to burn my hands while trying to pop the hood. After properly kicking the heck out of the car's front end, I walked over to the edge and saw what looked like a person floating in the water face up. I ran down and waded into the water just to find it was a pile of trash and some wooden mask.
#42 That One Friend...
Not me, but my parents. They went out to dinner with a few friends, and one of them got really hammered. He got up to go to the bathroom, and after he was gone for a while, they got up and started looking for him. Everyone checked the bathrooms, but he was not there. So they all got in their cars and started searching.
After about 10 minutes, one of the people in the back of the car my dad was driving pointed out something bright in a ditch on the side of the highway. They all went over towards the light and they saw the missing friend lying on his back scrolling through his phone. They dragged him into the car and brought him back. Later that night, he also got stuck in the bathroom and fell asleep there.
#43 Save The Turtles
We ran a “Turtle Rescue Unit.” In Texas, TONS of turtles get squished on the road. We as a family keep our eyes out, stop, and expedite them across in the direction they were headed and try to not get run over while doing it. Been doing it for years... It started with my wife and me, and now the kids partake. We’ve saved dozens over the years, it never gets old.
#44 Unidentified Objects
I was with friends, driving through the middle of nowhere at night. No houses, no lights, no other cars, just dark and empty for hours.
I was supposed to be in charge. I knew exactly where we were, and where we were going, but I had never used this particular road before so I was a little nervous. Also, did I mention how dark it was? So dark.
And then we saw a light.
A red light, slowly pulsing, in the distance.
And another. And another. The entire horizon filled with slowly blinking red lights.
And for a moment, I panic, because we're in the middle of nowhere, and I'm thinking the aliens are landing, and they're between our car and the town we're trying to get to, and I'm supposed to be in charge but I don't know what's going on or what to do!
... Windmills. They were windmills. We were driving through a windmill farm. They were lights on the windmills. I swear I'm not usually that dumb.
#45 Meet Alfie
My dad is a postman and he does a route that goes out into the country to a lot of farms. One day, when he was driving down a farm lane, he thought he saw something fluffy at the side in the grass, so he decided he deliver to the house first and check it on the way back. What he saw was a one-day-old kitten with a nasty gash on its back.
He asked the farm if it was theirs and they said no. It was probably taken from a wild cat by a rat or a bird. My dad decided to phone us to meet him so we could take it from him as he was working. A few months of hand raising and the little kitten healed and grew, and now Alfie is the most handsome fluff you ever did see.
#46 Seared Into The Mind
In my freshman year of high school, I was on a date with a girl who’s mother was an animal control officer. The mother was driving both of us somewhere, but she had to pull over to pick up a dead dog. For some reason, I wanted to impress the mother by helping helper her to pick up the dog... the image of the dog is seared inside my mind and I’m still slightly traumatized.
#47 Expecting The Worst
In the summer of my senior year of college, I was driving home one afternoon from my internship. It was a side road, so not too many cars. In the middle of the road, I saw a grocery bag and when I drove past, something flesh-colored was hanging out of it. I immediately stopped, turned around, and parked on the side of the road. I walked slowly up to the bag, not sure what I would see.
I moved the bag slightly with two fingers and... it was raw chicken. I laughed to myself thinking it could have been something more gruesome. As I walked back to my car, I heard a car pull up next to me... Yup, a police officer. He asked what I was doing and I told him the story that I saw something flesh-colored in the bag and thought the worst. He looked at me strangely and then just said, “Okay, go on home, drive safely.” I still giggle to myself every time I pass that spot on the road.
#48 Two Extremes
A bowling ball with the Steelers logo. A little scuffed, but intact. This was in northern Indiana, so it seemed a little out of place. I gave it to my best friend's husband, whose dad is a huge fan. More grotesque—this past winter, was driving a country road and saw a dead deer on the side of the road. Not unusual, it happens. What was crazy was the fact that it was in the middle of the road. The mom was rather torn up by scavengers, and there was nothing else on the road, so it's likely a scavenger had done its worst. Not something you see every day.
#49 Is That Pumba?
Well, we didn't stop, but when my partner and I were on our way to friend's wedding with my roommate and her boyfriend, we drove over a bridge that crossed a creek in a wooded area. All of a sudden, the boyfriend excitedly said, "Look a boar!" None of the rest of us saw it though, so we didn't really believe him as we were still very close to busy public buildings that we figured a wild boar would avoid.
So since we all really wanted to see it, he turned the car around and we drove past it again. Sure as heck, there was a wild boar hanging out near a fairly busy roadway in the evening; but since it was so dark already, you could barely make it out. The boyfriend must have gone hunting a lot in his life to not only have spotted it in the dark at 40 mph but to also be able to tell it was a boar. We could only tell it was a boar because we had already been told it was when we saw it.
#50 Here, Horsies
I came home from work one night and saw a person walking on the side of the road with something big in their hand. I lived in a heavily forested rural area at the time; that road was dark at night. It was my mom, carrying a bucket of horse feed, in her pajamas and bathrobe. Our horses had gotten out, and she was shaking the bucket of feed to get them to come home. Worked every time.