What the dill? Pickle jar mystery on Missouri highway ramp stumps internet sleuths

Trying the new Sonic Pickle Slushie

Sonic Drive-In released its pickle juice slush on June 11 and reporter Cara Anthony tries it with a kid customer at the drive-in.
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Sonic Drive-In released its pickle juice slush on June 11 and reporter Cara Anthony tries it with a kid customer at the drive-in.

Drivers who use a certain highway ramp in the St. Louis area are in a pickle.

A mystery person keeps leaving jars of pickles there.

Full jars. Half-filled jars. A jar with a red bow on top at Christmas, maybe left for Santa Claussen?

They’ve all popped up on an I-270 ramp from Manchester near West County Center in Des Peres, Mo.

These prominent pickle placements have apparently been going on for several years and inspired a “Team Pickle” Facebook page where amateur detectives gather to swap photos and clues.

Sleuthing has become their bread and butter.

The page has more than 1,700 members, many joining over the past few days after Fox 2 in St. Louis took notice of the ongoing pickle mystery.

“These Pickles need a Fan Page!” the page’s administrator, Barb Steen, wrote in 2014. “They have sat on the divide barrier on the exit ramp from 270 North at Manchester for years, if I had to guess mid to late 2012.

“They have survived snowmageddon, construction and protesters. There has got to be a story behind these pickles and inquiring minds want to know.

“Please share this group with those you know that travel this area and let’s make them famous!! #teampickle.”

One team member notes that she’s seen the pickle jars on the ramp “since Halloween 2010 and have never been able to get a pattern.”

There’s no shortage of theories on where the pickles come from and why they are there.

“I wonder if maybe someone lost a loved one there and pickles was an inside joke or the person loved pickles?!?! Just a theory!”

“Am I the only one who sees that the brand names are different over time and it’s not the same jar of pickles?!”

“I have a lead on this. I have reason to believe it is a guy named Peter Piper.”

Oh, the pickle puns and jokes.

“Not gherkin your chain, but what’s the dill with that?”

“I relish this site. (Sorry),”

“I think they should give the overpass the honorary name of Pickle Passing!”


One jar, sadly, went to that great cucumber patch in the sky.

“MAYDAY! MAYDAY! MAYDAY! Pickles took a dramatic fall sometime in the last couple days. Not sure he will survive,” wrote the Team Pickle member who came upon the harrowing scene of the glass jar lying dead and shattered on the ground.

“Attempts to rescue should be met with extreme caution as drivers in STL suck. But, if anyone is willing to risk their lives for pickles, feel free to attempt the rescue.”

Reddit users have been talking about the pickle jar, too.

“Alright, everyone, about two months ago I posted about the mysterious pickle jar at the ramp near N-270/Manchester,” one user wrote on Sunday, posting new photos of the jar.

There have been a few times since then when I drove past and spotted the jar, but I was at my parents’ place for Easter a few hours ago and saw it again on the way home.

“Now, I know what you’re thinking: ‘This is an elaborate April fool’s joke.’ I promise you: it is not. I understand it’s a serious miscalculation for me to have made the effort to turn around, park, and run up to a highway median to prove this on April 1st of all days. However, I mean this when I say this:

“I have nothing to do with the pickle jar.

“I did not place the jar there.

“I have never touched a pickle or any pickle-container within ~>500 feet of that area.”

“If you read my previous post you’ll see that the jar is gone sometimes, then it comes back. We as a city should come together and figure out why the jar keeps on appearing. I think this could be a pivotal moment in the city/county merger if we approach this correctly and come together.”

He later updated his post when he discovered the Team Pickle Facebook page.

New members joining the page this week have brought fresh ideas, but some have left a sour taste.

One person who suggested lining the entire wall with jars of pickles was quickly shot down.

“Does anyone else worry that with all the current attention that someone else is going to mess with them and we may never REALLY know the truth behind the #publicpickles now?” worried a Team Pickle member.