Urban Legends pt I: Alligators in NYC Sewers

Urban legends, or as they are called today, contemporary legends, are stories that can take place anywhere. They can have a grain of truth to them and are handed down from generation to generation much like folklore.

These legends are often scary and morph into a more outrageous tale with each retelling. To make these stories more believable the teller often adds a personal touch, “this really happened to my brother’s friend or my aunt’s hairdresser’s cousin!”

So… let’s get started with our first urban legend, “the alligators in the sewer.”

This is a well known myth about giant albino alligators living in the sewers of New York City.

Actually… many years ago New Yorkers who traveled to Florida to enjoy the warm weather would bring back baby alligators for pets for their children. When these animals started to grow and got hard to keep people threw them in the sewers. Hence, the birth of an “urban legend.”


In reality, alligators can’t live in cold climates or the cold and polluted waters of the New York City sewer system.

Curiously, small alligators have been spotted around New York but authorities say they are lost or displaced pets.





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