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Weird and Wonderful Fire Hydrants of the World

November 6, 2023

As is so often the case with normal aspects of everyday life, things can fade into the background and become unappreciated in their beauty. Sometimes it's important to take a second, be mindful of our surroundings, and smell the flowers.

I draw your attention to the humble fire hydrant, fixture of sidewalk and roadside in cities and towns across the United States and around the world. It's the type of thing we've all seen thousands and thousands of times. But have you ever taken the time to admire just how cool they can be?

Without further ado, let's dive in to look at a bunch of wacky fire hydrants from throughout time and space, dotting the globe and adding a little color to the backdrop of our day-to-day existence. 

Click the left and right arrows on the included slide shows to view pictures. 

The historic

Though it may seem like a fully modern convenience, the first fire hydrant was patented in 1801!

Canadian fire crew connects to a hydrant under winter conditions in Calgary
Up north: Canadian fire crew connects to a hydrant under winter conditions - Calgary
Salem, Ohio fire truck and fire hydrant in use during the 1950s.
Main Street, USA: Fire engine hooked up to a hydrant in downtown - Salem, Ohio
Vintage fire hydrant painted to look like a Revolutionary War soldier

Spirit of '76: A cheeky fire hydrant painted to look like a
Revolutionary War soldier - Burbank, California

Auxiliary Fireman Bernard Hailstone attaches a hose to a fire hydrant
On the job: Auxiliary Fireman Bernard Hailstone attaches a hose to a
fire hydrant - London, United Kingdom ca. 1940
Children play in the water of a hydrant in New York

Fun and games: Children play in the water of a hydrant - New York

Unique vintage Japanese fire hydrant design kyoto

Across the Pacific: Unique Japanese hydrant - possibly Kyoto ca. 1945

 US Patent for fire hydrant design in 1903

Labor of love: US Patent for fire hydrant design in 1903

Average hydrant on a non-descript street corner - Newark, New Jersey
Street scene: Average hydrant on a non-descript street corner - Newark, New Jersey

The far-flung

Fire hydrants are a global phenomenon -
take a look at some of the exotic hydrants from different corners of the map! 

Chefchaouen, Morocco: A town known for its blue-washed buildings
Fire hydrant rusted on a cobble stone street in Trinidad, Cuba

Trinidad, Cuba: Known for its colonial old town and cobblestone streets

Hong Kong red fire hydrant

Hong Kong: The back alleys of the densely populated Asian city

Los Angeles fire hydrant covered in graffiti and stickers

Los Angeles: On the bustling streets of downtown

Underground Soviet style hydrant 

Russia: An underground Soviet style hydrant 

Brazil fire hydrant in Bahia

Bahia, Brazil: One of the countries most populous states

Hakodate, Japan fire hydrant yellow
Hakodate, Japan: Along the path of the historic northern city
German-style hydrant in red found in Kaliningrad Russia

Kaliningrad, Russia: An old German-style hydrant found in the region

Canada Waterton National Park fire hydrant Vimy Peak
Waterton National Park, Canada: A scenic backdrop of Vimy Peak

The friendly

The necessary element of public infrastructure that smiles back

Fire hydrant painted like a man in a field of sunflowers

On guard: In lieu of a scarecrow, this charming fellow watches over the sunflowers

Winnie the Pooh fire hydrant in the snow

Hundred acre woods: A familiar face in an unexpected place

Franciscan nun painted fire hydrant

Holier than thou: Even hydrants have spiritual callings

Fire hydrant painted like a dalmatian dog

Woof: Every firehouse needs a dog, but few double as a fire hydrant

Smiling fire hydrant with blue mouth and eyes

Smiley: This guy really loves his job

Polish fire hydrant shaped like a friendly clown
Clowning around: When he's around, you know the circus is in town
Googly eyes pasted to a fire hydrant surprised face
Googly: Eyes are the window to the soul

The colorful

Why limit ourselves to just red and yellow?

Rainbow striped painted fire hydrant with various bright hues
Stripes: When in doubt, the more color the better
Gumball painted fire hydrants

Sugar rush: Sadly, this hydrant only dispenses water

Pac Man fire hydrant painted colorful arcade design

Arcade mania: Surrounded by enemies, our brave little hero continues their quest

R2D2 painted fire hydrant in the middle of lawn

Far, far away: This plucky droid found his way onto someone's front lawn

Multi colored colorful fire hydrant painted in various bright hues

Zany: That is one wacky combination of paint!

Fire hydrant painted Flamin' Hot Cheetos with Chester the Cheetah
Flamin' hot: Licensed advertising or devoted fan art?
Flower painted fire hydrant with blue and orange colors
Growing roots: This floral display makes each day feel like the month of May
Red and blue swirling patterns on a painted fire hydrant

Red and blue: Swirling patterns make for pleasing street art

The bizarre

A little inspiration for your next piece of yard art

Fire hydrant jack in Shelburne Vermont multiple hydrants welded together

Multi-pronged: This game of jacks would require a pretty big ball - Shelburne, Vermont

Beaumont Texas big fire hydrant tower 101 dalmatians Disney

Tower: If only Clifford the Big Red Dog could see this - Beaumont, Texas

Albertville Alabama fire hydrant capital of the world silver millionth hydrant

Capital of the world: So this is where hydrants come from - Albertville, Alabama 

Las Vegas largest fully operational fire hydrant in the world

Fully functional: Why can't we have more massive yet operational hydrants - Las Vegas, Nevada

Watch Hill Fire Department collection of fire hydrants

Collection: Now that is a lot of fire hydrants - Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Wildwood New Jersey dog friendly giant fire hydrant

Another monolith: This one is for the dogs - Wildwood, New Jersey

Have you encountered some interesting hydrants in your travels? Share you photos with us! Click the link below to get started.Submit Hydrant Photos

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