Human beings are an interminably bamboozling species.

Not only do we boast unique tongue and fingerprints, but after six million years of evolution, we still live on a planet where the insufferable Justin Bieber and Paris Hilton enjoy fame and fortune.

It’s all undeniably baffling.

Indeed, these curious facets of human DNA extend to a veritable smorgasbord of other areas – not least our enthusiasm for pushing the boundaries of the world’s humble mail delivery operators.

Whilst most package sending experiences are typically unforgettable, some folk feel inclined to dispatch a variety of weird and wonderful things to all corners of the globe.

Like what? Check out these three particularly peculiar items sent by mail …

  1. A Live Cat

Whether you’re sending a parcel to China or a bundle to Birmingham, when the time comes to mail the item, it’s doubtful you’ve tried to sneak something as conspicuous as a live cat past the gaze of your fastidious delivery company.


From 1897 to 1953, however, it was commonplace for mail in New York to be sent through a series of pneumatic tubes, with an unsuspecting feline a part of the maiden journey. Why? Who knows, but the adventurous tabby was ultimately unharmed, albeit a little dazed and confused.

  1. An Entire Building

If you were building a house in one part of the country but the materials were elsewhere, the last thing on your mind would be to use the postal service to transport your bricks. However, this is exactly what a cheeky chap named William H. Coltharp did in 1916.


Good old Bill actually enlisted the US Postal Service to deliver 80,000 bricks – packing crates under the 50lb limit, 40 crates at a time – until he had enough to build a bank in Vernal, Utah. This method rapidly prompted the Postal Service to decrease the weight limit one person could send per day.

  1. Deadly Diseases

A dose of smallpox or diphtheria landing on your doormat is hardly the most pleasing way to start the day, but according to a New York Post Office employee, handling various strains of deadly diseases, all bound for the national Health Board, was part and parcel of the job.


In a letter to the New York Times in 1895, Miss Daisy James also noted that dead birds and other small animals were sent to taxidermists throughout the US, which would be a startling wakeup call should the recipient addresses be inadvertently mixed up.

Now we want to hear from you …

Do you have any experiences of sending unusual items through the mail? Please let us know by leaving a comment below – we’d love to hear your tales.

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