How A Highway Pickle Jar Became An Internet Celebrity

We've all experienced our fair share of mysteries. Perhaps it was an unexplained display of gummy bears in the middle of your college campus, left undisturbed for weeks. Maybe it was a boulder people spray-painted under cover of darkness.

Whatever the case may be, these weird occurrences tend to go viral once they reach the internet. While some may see this as a good thing — who doesn't enjoy hearing about strange and unexplained stuff? — others argue that it takes the magic out of it. To be fair, once hundreds or even thousands of people know about an inside joke, it can hardly be considered an inside joke anymore.

Nevertheless, such strange happenings can still be a source of amusement, even after the initial magic is long gone. Plus, the internet isn't just good for temporary virality; it can preserve a piece of that mystery for us to revisit (or experience for the first time) years down the road. And sometimes, that mystery arrives in the form of a pickle jar.

Where did it come from? Where did it go?

Just like with Cotton-Eye Joe, we really don't know where one Missouri highway's pickle jar came from, nor do we know where it went — or how it came back, for that matter. According to Atlas Obscura, the mysterious pickle jar first appeared alongside a highway ramp in Des Peres, Missouri, back in 2012.

By 2014, one Des Peres citizen created a Facebook fan page for the pickle jar, in hopes someone might be able to shed some light on the mystery. Today, the page has over 23,000 members who have bonded over a roadside jar of pickles.

Over the years, the pickles have come and gone. If one jar is damaged, another soon replaces it. Despite an extended disappearance in 2018, the jar has returned to its perch beside the Des Peres highway. One member of Team Pickle uploaded a video to the Facebook page just before Christmas, much to the joy of Des Peres citizens past and present. What pickle lover could ask for anything better?