Urban legend says wealthy New Yorkers who vacationed in Florida brought home tiny baby alligators as curious pets.
Of course, as they grew bigger, they became too much too take care of, and therefore, like the schools of goldfish that have been flushed down toilets, so went the alligators. They lived on sewage and rats in their new environment and grew to gargantuan sizes.
It’s likely that the tale began with the publication of Robert Daley’s World Beneath the City in the 1959.
The book is based on stories told by Teddy May, who reported the existence of sewer-gators as far back as 1935. The alligators, like many of May’s tall tales, are simply untrue.