The Illegal Vodka Pipeline You Never Knew Existed

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=pipeline&search_group=#id=115685029&src=qi9mB5-NNjh34LXW-63Dyg-1-7">Oleinik Dmitri</a>/Shutterstock; <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-42022465/stock-photo-old-barrels-isolated-on-white-background.html?src=dt_p-88626481-2">JirkaBursik </a>/Shutterstock

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On Monday, a pipeline transporting molasses from a storage tank to a ship burst, spilling 233,000 gallons of sugary syrup into Honolulu Harbor. The disaster has devastated marine life and sent local agencies scrambling to clean up. But there was another obvious takeaway: Really, molasses moves in pipelines?

Yes, and it’s not alone.

 

Molasses

BW Folsom /Shutterstock

Length: Unknown

Where: Honolulu

Used by: Shipping company Matson Navigation

Status: Still active.

 

Vodka

kaband/Shutterstock

Length: .3 miles

Where:  Kazakhstan to Kyrgyzstan

Used by: Smugglers

Status: Shut down by Kyrgyz customs officials in August.

 

Vodka

Denys Prykhodov/Shutterstock; Aaron Amat/Shutterstock

Length: 1 mile

Where: Russia to Estonia

Used by: Smugglers

Status: Shut down by customs officials in 2008.

 

Moonshine

Everett Collection/Shutterstock

Length: 2 miles

Where: Belarus to Lithuania

Used by: Smugglers

Status: Shut down by customs officials in 2004.

 

Fried chicken

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

Length: 650 feet

Where: Egypt to Gaza City

Used by: Smugglers, charging $27 for a 12-piece bucket of KFC.

Status: Still open. Maybe.

(Ed: This is more of a pipeline in a metaphorical sense, but it does pass through a tunnel.)

 

Beer

Darren J. Bradley/Shutterstock; Valentyn Volkov/Shutterstock

Length: 3.1 miles

Where: Gelensekirchen, Germany

Used by: Veltins Arena, home of the soccer club Schalke 04

Status: Still active.

 

Whiskey

Tim Stirling/Shutterstock

Length: Unknown

Where: Windsor, Ontario, Canada

Used by: Canadian Club founder Hiram Walker, to transport mash from his distiller to his farm.

Status: No longer active.

 

Orange juice

Sfocato/Shutterstock

Length: 1.2 miles

Where: Brazil

Used by: Cutrale, a Coca Cola subsidiary, to transfer fresh-squeezed juice from storage silos to pasteurization facility.

Status: Still open.

 

Grain

David Rose/Shutterstock

Length: TBD

Where: Montana to Minneapolis; Portland; or Lewiston, Idaho

Used by: Proposed by Montana legislature in the 1970s in response to rising freight transportation costs.

Status: Never built.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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