We threw a magnet in Berlin’s canals – we fished that
What can no longer be seen or has to disappear often ends up in the water. We got it out again.
It’s a mouse-gray summer day. Every now and then a breeze creeps over the quiet Landwehr Canal. Then the water ripples for a moment. Armed with rope and magnets we stand at the quay wall. Tourist groups pass us by. Sometimes they point to us. Stand still. Pull out her cell phone. And whisper something about how alternative and special Berlin is. Our XXL magnet on the bright red rope seems to be a welcome photo opportunity for Berliners on the bridge day.
Fishing in the river with a magnet and seeing what gets stuck on it – it might sound strange. Magnet fishing has long been a trend. Thousands of videos on YouTube show characters in outdoor gear, excitedly pulling their magnets out of the water. The booty: a lot of rubbish. But sometimes guns, bicycles, or even safes are pulled out of the waters. Grenades and bombs are always recovered. This is another reason why magnetic fishing is not welcomed because the legal situation is unclear. According to our research, it is neither prohibited nor allowed. One more reason for us to try it out. That’s why we throw the magnet into the Spree, the Landwehr Canal and the Westhafen.
Most of the time we pull the magnet out of the drinkable, brewed water without anything hanging on it – except for tons of crown corks. So anyone who goes magnetic fishing needs patience – and hardened fingertips. By the way, when you pick the bottle caps from the magnet, you learn that people who drink Biozisch or Vegalino also throw their bottle caps into the water. Forget all your prejudices!
Odds and ends
According to the operating instructions, our magnet can pull 770 kilograms and is characterized by a “Ni + Cu + Ni triple layer”. What that means? No idea. But it’s enough to surface the shit that others throw in the water. From building scrap to change to a spoon. The hoped-for treasures are missing for the time being.
The first big find: an amplifier. Relic of the Berlin techno scene? With him we draw a story to the surface of the water. We fantasize about it: maybe the DJ was booked for the gig of his life, sank while pre-drinking and therefore came too late. Maybe he threw his equipment into the Landwehr Canal in frustration. Apparently, raven can be just as frustrating as magnet fishing.