This article originally appeared on VICE Germany
If you've ever lost a glass eye or a gas mask while riding Berlin's public transport and considered them lost for ever – think again. Chances are you'll be able to retrieve them at the Lost Property Office of the city's public transport commission, the BVG. The office houses a diverse and bizarre collection of items found on Berlin's streets, coaches, trains and stations.
In the year 2016 alone, around 65,000 found objects were brought in the BVG – including over 300 mobile phones, a wheelchair, a bread maker and enough umbrellas to make Mary Poppins pop. The employees of the office – almost all former train or coach drivers – tag each item with the location it was found, the date and any other information they were able to find out about the owner.
Approximately 30 percent of the items are collected by their owners – a few regular scatterbrains come in twice a month to pick up something they've lost. Objects that aren't claimed, are held for six weeks before being auctioned off – except for mobile phones, which can't be sold because they might contain sensitive personal data.
The biggest burden on the office, however, are cheap umbrellas. Hardly anyone comes by to retrieve them, because it's cheaper and easier to just buy a new one. So all of Berlin's lost and found umbrellas are packed together in bundles of 20 or 25 and stored away for six weeks, when they can finally be cleared out.
Scroll down for a gallery of some of lost objects held at the BVG's Lost Property Office.