Phantom Sway

Iguana Expert Weighs In on Rash of Toilet Invasions

No one wants anything toothy and green popping up in their pooper.

Why are iguana’s invading our toilets? It’s one of the great scientific mysteries of our time.

Finally, we may have an answer from a leading iguana expert. At least part of an answer anyway.

Iguanas are commonly found in Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean. In 2017, you could add “Florida toilets” to that list.

So far this year, news stories reported that iguanas have turned up in Florida commodes at least five times — although there’s reason to believe it’s happened more often than that.

What are they doing in the toilet? Besides the backstroke, that is? Trying to get out.

Although other animals have been known to intrude into toilets — rats, for instance — iguanas are perfectly adapted for plumbing infiltration. The voracious little Godzillas, which can grow to be 6 feet long from snout to tail, frequently climb trees, and also tend to be good swimmers, able to hold their breath for an extended time period.

There is perhaps no more important survival adaptation for swimming in Florida sewers than breath holding.

From the trees “they come down from the vent pipe in the roof,” explained veteran Boca Grande iguana trapper George Cera, who has written a cookbook called, Save Florida, Eat an Iguana. “Even if your vent pipe is closed, that doesn’t mean your neighbors’ is.”

Disclaimer: Phantom Sway in no way endorses the consumption of toilet and/or sewer iguanas.

Once an iguana gets into someone’s plumbing, it can quickly wind up swimming in the sewer system, he explained. Then it’s looking for a way to escape.

This is a reasonable response for anyone who finds themselves swimming in the sewer system, which could lead one to believe that iguanas possess almost human-like intelligence. Humans routinely make equally stupid decisions that they immediately regret, like taking on student loan debt, buying a time-share, or getting neck tattoos.

In other words, while New York’s sewers may not be filled with alligators, as the legend has it, Florida’s sewers do apparently team with toothy green iguanas that frequently pop up in the pooper.

No one wants anything toothy and green popping up in their pooper, except for maybe Harvey Weinstein. Thankfully, like most bizarre and creepy phenomena, toilet iguanas seem to be restricted to Florida.

Among the many perils that Floridians regularly confront — the state gets more hurricanes, lightning strikes, sinkholes and shark bites than anywhere else in the U.S. — finding an iguana in the toilet is unique. Not only does it happen more in Florida, but a Lexis-Nexis search of news stories from around the nation reveals that it happens only in Florida.

This year is not the first time an iguana has turned up in a Florida toilet. For instance, in 2015, a woman in Fort Lauderdale called Roto-Rooter to clear a clogged commode, only to hear the plumber scream upon yanking out an iguana. It died — the iguana, that is, not the plumber.

How was your day, honey? 

Same old thing….violently murdered another iguana in a toilet with a rotating blade power tool.

The most recent toilet iguana to make news happened in Hialeah on Nov. 30. A man named Giovanni Profera told Telemundo last week, “I sat down, I felt pressure, I jumped and saw a lizard.”

That’s what she said. 

The iguana scrambled out of the bowl and fled, no one knows where. Meanwhile, Profera said he’s now terrified of using the bathroom.

Word on the street is that the iguana ended up in the bathtub.

Afterward, he had some breakfast.

Then he hit the links…

…before relaxing on the couch.

James Lanka

Science fiction nerd, writer, blogger, music lover, artist, native of the east coast.

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