Things That Matter

22 Photos That Serve As Proof That The NYC Subway Station Is A Whole Underground Culture

Global metropolia are a microcosm of the beauty and pure weirdness of human existence. If you walk the streets of main capitals and urban epicenters such as New York City, Mexico City, Paris, Tokyo, Madrid or Buenos Aires or Los Angeles, you will find all sorts of characters. Some dare to be themselves amidst the sometimes monochromatic urban landscape, while others are just minding their business but are out into situations that are frankly uncanny (for example, see the lady casually transporting her calaveras further down this article!).

We have taken un clavado in the depth of the Internet to find some of the many odd situations that city dwellers have encountered while taking the subway. Yes, a subway line is a world within itself!

1. When a Spanish grandma that looks like outta Game of Thrones suddenly offers abuelita advice

Credit: Instagram. @nicolachoo

This surreal scene from the Madrid subway features a maiden known as “chulapa”, which is a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages. Muy maja la viejecita, joer!

2. When you turn around and there is a human unicorn crouching beside you

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

This man in the Tokyo subway certainly wanted to make an impression with his big hair horn that doesn’t even fit in the carriage. Hey, nothing against hipster culture, pero este dude just goes a step too far. Again, cada quien con su pelo, but we can’t help but wonder what led this caballero to turn his long melena into a horn!

3. When you realize your fellow passenger is VERY confused

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

So shall we break the news to him that he is not Black and that reading this is like, extra creepy? No, dude, you do not look cool reading this.

4. When chance delights us with an unexpected artistic performance

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

What a delightful moment The perfect timing and the ideal snapshot by @melanietaylor126. This woman has a nicely trimmed beard and a tie… or does she?

5. When the contents of a box labeled books is basically… un pollo

Credit: Instagram. @thechicrew

It is odd enough to see a live chicken in the NYC subway, but the box labeled “BOOKS” gives this scene an extra touch like out of a Twilight Zone episode, doesn’t it?

6. When Pikachu is in da house!

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

We wonder if this huge botarga even fit through the door. We hope the little yellow dude didn’t miss his station. And wait, does he have Ryan Reynolds’ voice?

7. When you casually showcase your cyborg body modification art in the NYC subway

Credit: Instagram. @aunhelden

Aun Helden is a Brazilian artists that creates confronting characters using body modification and latex bodysuits that make her look like out of a nightmarish David Cronenberg film (did y’all watch the classic 1980s version of The Fly?). Well, she decided to take her art to the insides of the city, very fitting for her cybernetic approach to bodies and art.

8. And people start filming you… or run for their lives!

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

Yes, it is art, but we can only imagine el pinche susto that her fellow passengers experienced by seeing her in this alien costume. Ay nanita, un bolillo pal susto, porfis. 

9. When an old karate master travels around with a figurine of himself

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

Is he a ventriloquist or just someone totally obsessed with himself? Whatever the case, we just can’t stop staring at this strange sensei.

10. When you are not sure whether the creepy girl from The Ring is following you around

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

Talking about small twin figurines. We would storm out of the carriage if we faced this creature that comes out of our darkest nightmares. Samara, please do no take us with you!

11. When you bump into famous actor Paul Giamatti and you don’t know if you should ask him for an autograph or give him un abrazo de oso

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

Paul Giamatti made a name for himself by playing depressed middle-aged dudes in movies like American Splendor and Sideways. Well, this photo makes us remember his iconic characters. We would have approached him and offered him una chelita y un cotorreo. He just looks so lonely.

12. When you see someone holding a live rat with his teeth. Is that Remy from Ratatouille?

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

You are going back home and suddenly you see someone carrying a live rodent with his teeth. Is it a pet or just a recently rescued stray ratita? 

13. When there is a pokemon right in the middle of the tracks at the Mexico City crazy and chaotic subway

Credit: Instagram. @metrocdmx

The Mexico City subway is now famous for containing a lot of special creatures from the popular geolocative game Pokemon Go! Just don’t try to catch them all during rush hour!

14. When you see your childhood favorites boarding your wagon

Credit: Instagram. @metronautas_

This vintage photo comes out of a promo shoot featuring the characters from Odisea Burbujas, a show that many Mexicans and Latinos from all over the continent grew up with. Ask your uncles or parents and se les sale una lagrimita.

15. When a woman travels with her calaveras, that seem to be spying on you

Credit: Instagram. @metrocdmx

Strange thing is: this is a totally normal scene in the highly surreal Mexican capital. It is just a woman minding her own business, transporting her calaveras.

16. When you encounter the absolute champion of manspreading 

Credit: Instagram. @bandita_chilanga

Seriously, pendejo, you are taking three seats, including one reserved for people with mobility issues! If there were pendejo Olympics, this champion manspreader would take home two or three gold medals.

17. When the subway turns into a quinces!

Credit: Instagram. @bandita_chilanga

What is more chilango (Mexico City native) than having a photoshoot for your quinces in a subway carriage? Look at the contrasting expressions in the fellow passengers’ faces.

18. When you suddenly meet Shaun the Sheep!


Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

It is not enough to bring a gorgeous sheep on the train, you have to add a baseball cap put on backwards to increase the hilarity factor!

19. When this grandma has had enough of those pinches effboys

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

We wonder if this woman even knows what “No time for fuckboys” even means. Anyway, we love the message. Strong, independent women unite!

20. And the pothead version of Santa Clós makes a guest appearance

Credit: Instagram. @subwaycreatures

OMG, this dude is equally hilarious and adorable. A Santa Claus for those who enjoy un toquecito.

21. When a dude thinks he is Spider-Man in the middle of the trip

Credit: Instagram. @emiliotrevino

OK, then. We just hope the train didn’t come to a sudden halt or the fall must have been bien pinche dolorosa.

22. And when the Mexico City subway turns into Venice, Italy!

Credit: Instagram. @bandita_chilanga

Many stations in the enormous Mexico City subway network need an urgent manita de gato. When it rains in CDMX it really pours, as shown in this photograph that evidences the solidarity of Mexican people. This is a great moment out of an unfortunate situation.

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