Seattle’s Mystery Soda Machine



On the corner of John Street and 10th Avenue East, in the heart of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, sits the world’s most mysterious vending machine. For decades, the soda dispenser spit out cans of “mystery” soda for a retro price of 75¢ a pop. There are many unanswered questions surrounding the mystery machine, like who owns it and who was stocking it. The answers to those questions were even unknown to the employees of Broadway Locksmith, which provided electrical power to keep the mystery machine going. There weren’t even any permits for the machine on file with the City of Seattle. The modern antique offered a comparatively limited selection of drinks, with yellowed plastic buttons offering Coke, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, and Barq’s, but the intriguing button marked “Mystery” generally produced none of those. If you were willing to spend $4.50 on the mystery button, the machine produced six different brands of soda, none of which had their own button on the machine. In June 2018, the machine disappeared and a message was taped to the rail where the machine used to be: "Went for a walk." Today, the machine is still missing, as is the explanation for how it got there to begin with and who managed to evade onlookers to stock it.