With the Great Lakes surrounding us it's no wonder we've learned to adapt to this "water-winter wonderland."

For example, we've got pizza delivery by plane or jet ski, we've got water taxis, and we can lay claim to the fact that we've got the only floating post office in the world. Who knew?

This floating post office is so legit it's even got its own zip code!

John Ward Westcott

The original JW Westcott, John Ward, was once the youngest captain on the Great Lakes. Ward was an American ship captain who founded his Westcott Company in Detroit to ferry supplies to passing ships in 1874.

Captain Westcott created a system to deliver messages to passing freighters that was so efficient the U.S. Postal Service took notice of it. The USPS was so impressed by Captain Westcott's mail delivery system that eventually they granted his vessel its own zip code: 48222.

JW Westcott II

Today the vessel named after this notable captain operates as the only floating post office in the world.

In order to have mail delivered to passengers on passing freighters, the sender must address their mail as such: Vessel Name, Marine Post Office, Detroit, Michigan, 48222.

TenMileMedia via YouTube
TenMileMedia via YouTube

How Does it Work?

To deliver the mail, the JW Westcott II drives up alongside the freighter at the same speed. Mail carriers then utilize a system of ropes and buckets to deliver the mail aboard the freighter. They can even deliver boxes and packages too thanks to specially designed supply boats!

According to Atlas Obscura, the "mail in a pail" has delivered everything from love letters, toilet paper, cigarettes, and even a goat!

Says one floating mail carrier,

These people rely on us to get them their stuff...I go out in all kinds of weather, at all hours of the day to try to make sure that they get it.

Only in "Pure Michigan", am I right?!

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