Espionage, intrigue, secrets and … adult content. Those four things neatly sum up the mysterious world of dead drops. Created initially as an art project, dead drops are now a world-wide phenomenon waiting to be found. Think geo-caching with added p*rn and viruses. Think treasure hunts … with added p*rn and viruses - I think we’re all seeing the pattern here. So what exactly is a dead drop? A dead drop is a hidden data drive. Some drops contain information you can copy, others invite you to leave information behind. So many are used to swap naked photos, porn and seedy content, but others contain art, music, data and literature. If you can store it on a USB drive, it can be hidden on a dead drop. You might see a USB stick protruding from a city wall, tree stump or park bench. Others are hidden in caves, shops or libraries. The neat thing about dead drops is that, once you know they exist, you’ll be looking for them everywhere.
To help you narrow down your search we’ve scoured the globe for the best dead drops containing the most weird and wonderful content … plus a little bit of adult content on the side. Read on and prepare to start searching for movies, stun gun recipes and buried treasure.
15 A Homemade Stun Gun and Reese’s Pieces Recipes - Toronto, Canada
In this world of selfishness and greed it’s so nice to find a thoughtful dead dropper amongst the bomb makers, virus spreaders and p*rn enthusiasts. A Toronto dead drop contains two highly useful how-to guides that go hand in hand together. Sort of. There’s a handy step-by-step recipe for making a stun gun glove - using a disposable camera. Not seen since the 90s, part of the problem here might be tracking down a disposable camera, rather than the secret dead drop location. But let’s not get bogged down in the details. Once you’ve made your stun gun you can then skip to the kitchen and brew up a batch of Reese’s Pieces. Mmmm, delicious. Presumably the stun gun is to stop your greedy mates stealing your peanut butter based snacks?
14 An Eyeful Of Fetish Art - Las Palmas Ave, Hollywood - USA
When a dead drop is labelled Antebellum’s Digital Glory Hole, you’ve just got to take a look … don't you? Voyeurs taking a peek at this USB stick’s hidden promises shouldn’t be disappointed. Dropped by the people proclaiming to run America’s only fetish art gallery, this dead drop is not for the faint-hearted. A brief scan of the gallery’s Twitter account uncovered a fetching oil painting of three guys rimming each other. Naturally in my duty as a roving reporter for The Richest I ploughed on, determined to discover what else we intrepid dead droppers might uncover on their data drive. Let’s just say I now know rather more about the beautiful sexual relationships many leather-clad men can have. All intricately sketched, I might add. A real eye-opener for all concerned.
13 Rudimentary Recipes For LSD and Bombs, Volksgartenstrasse - Cologne
For a quick and easy way to get arrested, or place yourself firmly on a government watch list, hotfoot it to this sketchy dead drop in Cologne. Wedged in a crack in the walls of a house, there’s a data drive containing, amongst other things, the anarchist's cookbook. Banned in some countries, borderline legal in others - just owning this material is questionable. As is making any of the concoctions listed in its murky pages. Various versions have sprung up since the original exploded onto the underground scene in the 70s. There’s no way of knowing which version is on this drive, but most versions contain chapters on bombs, booby traps, sabotage and recipes for drugs. The author himself is trying to stop this manual from being published - possibly because his recipes could kill or maim you. Enjoy!
12 200 Blu-Ray Movies - Boulevard Saint-Martin, Paris
This is either the best dead drop on the list, or the worst depending on the quality of the titles. If Showgirls, Howard the Duck or Madonna’s Swept Away are among the 200 titles, the dead dropper has a twisted sense of humour and must be stopped at all costs. Have you SEEN Swept Away? Hopefully the blu-rays that have made it onto this list are top quality blockbusters everyone can enjoy without wanting to invent a time machine, travel back in time and erase Madonna’s very existence just to undo the 89 minutes of cinematic crap that is Swept Away.
11 The Best Mary-Jane In Iran - Fadak Park, Tehran - Iran
When you’re jonesing for some top quality weed … and you happen to find yourself in Iran… get your rolling papers and your folding notes down to Fadak Park. In a compound near the dead drop you just need to ask about Naabi and see what happens next. Now, let’s not indulge in some stereotypical profiling, but asking about strange things in far flung parks may not end well. Or … it could end with you smoking some HEAVY weed according to the dead drop’s details. This one’s definitely for the more adventurous among you. No idea what’s on the actual dead drop itself - but to be honest, who cares when there’s the promise of a seriously epic high on the cards?
10 A True Love Story Set In An Old Gas Factory - Espressofabriek, Amsterdam
Forget Romeo and Juliet folks, these Amsterdam lovebirds win all the awards for their blossoming love story. Unfortunately, rather than write a book, blog or extensive Twitter thread about their soppy romance, they’ve inflicted it on the unsuspecting dead drop community. Imagine pitching up to this converted gas works in Amsterdam, quivering with excitement, expecting some racy red light district style files, only to find tedious pictures of this couple. Fully clothed and completely PG, the images do have some music to go with them. Presumably that’s loved up and suitably sickening as well. They met while working at the Espressofabriek coffee shop where the drop is hidden. Not that it matters as we’re never going to go searching for this one.
9 112GB Of Adult Content - Some Shady Looking Railings In Michigan, USA
Yep, you read that right. Not 1gb of p*rn, not 12gb of p*rn - it’s a whopping 112gb of naked nobbling to download and enjoy. The original dead dropper invites everyone to share the wealth saying: “leave as much p*rn as you want, it’s hidden very well”. Good to know - the last thing you’d want is your copy of Assablanca to be found by just anyone fiddling about next to Michigan’s railway tracks. Some things are sacred. Apparently not everyone feels the same about a top quality p*rn collection. Brace yourself for a heartbreaking story, guys. This "overly excited" dead dropper pleads with everyone not to destroy this one - as it’s a replacement. It seems some people weren’t a fan of the original drive’s contents. But this dude won’t be stopped. Dedicated and determined to share the art of bouncing butt shots, it’s taken them two years to fill this USB with adult content. Hopefully it takes them slightly less time to reach other more satisfying conclusions.
8 25 Tonnes Of Gold - Tesoro di Alarico, Cosenza, Italy
The cheeky scamps that have placed this dead drop are hinting that 25 tonnes of gold could be yours, if you can find it. Leaving just a not-so-cryptic statement saying: “we've finally found the Alarico's treasure”. Are they actually referring to King Alaric? Italian archeologists are rumoured to be close to finding his ancient hoard of gold - worth £750m. I’m guessing if the dead droppers have found something they’d be scurrying off to buy a couple of shovels rather than post the details on a dead drop (wouldn't you?). But with 25 tonnes of gold at stake, maybe they just want a hand with the digging?
7 Shrek - Asda Superstore, Thurmaston, United Kingdom
Look, we all know Shrek’s goofy story. Beauty is on the inside; blah, blah. Boring. He’s green, lives in a swamp and the fart jokes get tedious after, oh I don’t know, the first one. But, there’s a dedicated dead dropper out there that loves Shrek so much, they’ve planted the movie - and some witty memes - near a UK supermarket. Oh, the hilarity. This dead drop really makes you question just why people have so much time on their hands. That aside, if you love nothing more than lolling along to the 2001 animated blockbuster, this is the dead drop for you. If you’re still not convinced, then check out the filth the animators snuck into the movie and you might reconsider.
6 Coupons! - Read's Book Shop Ontario, Canada
Some dead drops are used by pioneering cavaliers of the data world. Seeking to share information freely, unrestrained by morals, laws and ethics, these brave souls plant dead drops so we can all experience the sharp thrill of picking up a virus or some bomb-making hacks. Bravo to them. On the flip side you’ll also get plucky entrepreneurs getting in on the action to make some quick cash. The clever folks at an Ontario book store have not only planted a dead drop outside their shop, they’ve wedged a few coupons on there as well! I know where I’ll be shopping next time I’m in Ontario.
5 Crappy Songs and Top Notch Games - Hobart, Tasmania
Hey! Gamers! Fancy listening to some crappy songs while you play some top notch games? Of course you do! Get yourselves along to Hobart, Tasmania and this dead drop will set you up. I wonder if in the dead drop universe there’s a data stick out there with crappy games and top notch music, just to redress the balance? Also, someone needs to clarify something. Just how crappy are the songs? Are we talking She Bangs by Ricky Martin or are we looking down the barrel of Hanson’s mediocre boyband output? These are the details that matter. If we’re going to schlep to Hobart for some crappy music, we need to prepare ourselves for the abuse our eardrums will face. Am I right?
4 Walter Benjamin Memorial - A Sea Cave, Portbou, Catalonia
Twirl your moustache, polish some nerdy specs and prepare to get served with some seriously highbrow details. This dead drop is slinging data at you, library-style. A tiny data stick has been planted in a sea cave and filled with Walter Benjamin PDFs. Not just any PDFs my friends, PDFs in various languages! Now, before you book your plane tickets, who is WB and why is there a whole dead drop devoted to the dude? Apparently he’s a Marxist German-Jewish philosopher, which frankly is a whole lot of things. A prominent figure in history, oft quoted by literary types who want to look educated, old Walt ended his life in Portbou - hence the dead drop placement. Trying to evade capture by the Nazis, his death ensured safe passage for the group he was travelling with. Hopefully you can ditch the morphine pills and just check out the wordy data on this drive without any Nazi hassle.
3 Crazy Stuff - Parklaan 89, 9100 Sint-Niklaas, Belgium
I don’t know about you, but when it comes to sh*t, I like mine to be crazy. Call me old-fashioned, but if sh*t is not crazy, I’m not interested. Which is precisely why this dead drop needs investigating. Lurking on Parklaan 89 in Belgium there’s a USB drive containing ‘information, crazy sh*t, p*rn, etc’. Etc? WTF? We need details people. Obviously we’ll be flocking there for the crazy sh*t, but it’s the etc that’s got me intrigued. What could it be? The lyrics to every Mariah Carey song ever recorded or a map to a secret underground lair full of golden trinkets. I think we all know which we’d prefer. Get to Belgium, access the crazy sh*t and let us know what the etc is. Inquiring minds need to know.
2 Viruses - Lebanon
Maybe your Microsoft pile of wires, circuitboards and RAM isn’t running quite as slowly as you’d like? Perhaps your personal data hasn’t been copied and distributed by enough criminal networks? Or maybe, just maybe, you love losing all of your data for lolz. Well, help is at hand in Lebanon. Acquire a sturdy steed, or a hire car, and head straight for Nabi Ayla. A data drive is waiting with viruses aplenty for you to infect your laptop with and ruin your life. Way to keep the fun bus really rollin’, the thoughtful dead dropper has chucked in some memes as well. Watch your computer die as you chuckle at Condescending Wonka memes. Could life get any better than this?
1 Your Happiness - Route du Peck, Mesnil-le-roi Yvelines, France
By any given standards, this one’s a bold claim. Hidden from view in a dilapidated French building, there’s a data stick containing your happiness. Not the secret to happiness, how to achieve happiness or the Alex Jordan hit ‘Happiness’, but your ACTUAL happiness. Quite how these intrepid dead droppers have managed to wedge everyone’s happiness on a data drive is anyone’s guess … but the promise of unending joy has to be worth the trip, right? Left by a group calling themselves MAMB, these anonymous data droppers give no other clues as to what might be found on the data drive so we’ll all be left wondering… Unless we form an orderly queue and book our flights to Mesnil-le-roi Yvelines without delay! As the Dalai Lama himself points out … “Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.” See you at the dead drop!