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Amsterdam is the most bicycle-friendly city in the world, with 40% to 60% of all trips within the city made on bikes. Some estimate that there are between 880,000 to a million bicycles in the city, which is more than the city’s permanent population, by as much as 20%. Amsterdam also has lots of canals —165, with a combined length of 100 kilometers. Unavoidably, some of the bicycles end up getting wet. Did I say some? How about 15,000? That’s how many bicycles are retrieved from Amsterdam’s canals every year. In fact, fishing for bicycles is a full-time occupation for the city.

Waternet, the agency responsible keeping the canals clean, employs a huge hydraulic claw, to fish out bicycles from the canal bed. The claw is connected to a crane that sits on the front of a barge. The company has been bike fishing since the 1960s, and they do this every day.

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Photo credit: heather_mcnabb/Flickr

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