They say the grass is always greener on the other side. Perhaps, then, that’s why so many people try to flee their own countries, putting their own lives at risk along the way. Certainly, for many immigrants making a break from war-torn or poverty-stricken countries, the saying is undeniably true. But illegally crossing the border – whether it’s from Mexico to the U.S., or from Syria to Europe – isn’t an easy task. Nevertheless, these 19 individuals refused to be deterred, and each came up with an extremely bizarre way of smuggling themselves into another country.
In March 2015 two illegal immigrants near the Rio Grande Valley Sector were caught attempting to smuggle themselves across the border. Incredibly, the duo were encased within a speaker box, which was then locked in the trunk of a car. Unhurt, the pair were found sweaty and dizzy from being trapped inside the sub-woofer for over 90 minutes.
The Office of Immigration Statistics estimates that, as of 2012, 11.4 million illegal immigrants live in the U.S. Though, exactly how many arrived via the trunk of a car is, of course, unknown. Still, these women gave it their best shot.
Mind you, not everyone can cope with the cramped, claustrophobic conditions of a car trunk. For instance, these two guys, who’ve clearly watched too many movies, decided to be slightly more ambitious. In fact, they attempted to flee Mexico by driving their Jeep over the 14-foot tall border fence using a makeshift ramp at an Arizona border. Unfortunately for them, though, the vehicle got stuck halfway and was later seized by border patrol agents.
You’d be surprised just how many avenues for hiding spots a car can present – if you’re savvy enough. This woman, for example, squeezed herself into the dashboard. However, she was easily discovered after a customs inspector requested the car registration documents.
There are many reasons people leave their homes – and families – to attempt to enter another. For instance, Global Citizen cites escaping conflict, violence, poverty and persecution, and seeking better healthcare and education opportunities as the main reasons that people emigrate. Still, there can’t be many people who have ended up folded into a car, like this man.
In 2011 a group of 13 illegal immigrants hatched one of the most elaborate schemes ever seen to cross the border. Yes, with the help of a pair of U.S. citizens, the group dressed in U.S. Marine outfits and climbed into a white “military” van. Alas, border officials quickly figured out that something was wrong and halted the group in their tracks.
Of course, migration is not a new phenomenon. After all, at some point nearly the entirety of Earth was colonized by migrants. However, there’s no doubting that it’s been rising exponentially in recent years. In 2015, for instance, in excess of one million refugees and migrants entered Europe. And some of them by means taken by the guy above, who was crammed into a vehicle hood.
This guy probably wins first prize when it comes to dedication, though. Enrique Aguilar Canchola, 42, attempted to cross the Mexican border into the U.S. back in 2001 by disguising himself as a car seat. Yes, a car seat. It’s an ingenious and bold strategy, for sure. Unluckily for him, it failed.
While the overall number of illegal immigrants entering the U.S. has steadied in the past few years, the number of origin countries has expanded. In fact, fewer people are coming from Mexico, according to Pew Research Center, with more traveling from Asia and Central America. Many of them, though, are suffering cramped or life-threatening conditions, like the woman above.
These two guys certainly got inventive with their car. Instead of hiding in the trunk, or another easily accessible area, they carved holes in the bottom of car in which to hide. Crafty, it might be, but that didn’t stop border officials from finding them when they tried to cross into the U.S. in 2010.
In 2012 a Los Angeles smuggling ring was busted for bringing immigrants into the country via purpose-built compartments… inside engines. While the smugglers were eventually caught, authorities estimated that in the year previous they had successfully ferried hundreds of immigrants across the border.
The lengths to which some people go to smuggle themselves into other countries speaks only to their desperate situation. One man, for instance, holed himself inside a washing machine in order to cross into Texas in 2014. As bizarre border busts go, this is right up there.
Still, it turns out that disguising yourself inside a car seat might be a more common strategy than we thought. Indeed, there’s no denying the effort these guys have gone to. We just wonder just how they were caught.
You’ve got to admire the brazen attitude of these immigrants. In December 2015 this daring dozen were found bundled inside the back of a bogus border patrol vehicle. Unluckily for them, they were then caught by the real border patrol officials. You couldn’t make it up.
In a true case of “desperate times, desperate measures,” this immigrant was found stowed inside the bumper of a car. The fumes he was breathing during the journey clearly got to him, as he appeared unconscious when he was found. Ironically, had he not been discovered, his fate might have been much worse.
Hiding inside the hood of a car might seem ingenious, but the reality is probably pretty bleak. After all, it’s no doubt exceedingly warm, what with all that machinery operating alongside the poor soul curled up there.
This 23-year-old man discovered the dangers of hiding in the engine compartment for himself. In 2015 he attempted to cross the border between Mexico and Ceuta, Spain, stowed under a car’s hood. The cramped, hot conditions must have been unbearable.
Meanwhile, a group of eight immigrants took hiding in a car trunk to the next level in England. Each one hid inside the rear compartment of an imported Maserati sports car, all of which were being carried by a car transporter. As traveling in car trunks goes, this is about as luxurious as it gets.
By this point, we’re starting to think the human car seat disguise is becoming more popular than the customary trunk hideout. This particular immigrant attempted to cross the border from Morocco into Spain. However, he was discovered when authorities saw him moving.