Driving from Sao Paulo to Paraty, we encountered a most unusual sight: the entire length of the mountain road leading down to the coast was strewn with hubcaps.

Of course, I felt obligated to entertain our friends’ son with the tale of the Mysterious Hubcap Graveyard of Ubatuba as we slowly wended our way down the jungle-covered mountain road.

It is here, far from the cities, I told him, that all of the abandoned and orphaned hubcaps of Brazil come to die. It doesn’t matter where in Brazil they have been lost; late in the black of night you will see them rolling down the road by the hundreds, tumbling along of their own accord in the middle of the road, bound for this mysterious mountainside graveyard of hubcaps. Some are new, others appear ancient, but they lie along the road in the hundreds. And not just along the road, but are also strewn in the vegetation, and, I kid you not, in the trees!

You do NOT want to be driving the road at night, I cautioned, because these hubcaps are on a mission, pulled by nocturnal forces, and will let nothing deter them from their appointed task. In fact, at night, the magnetic draw is so intense that you are likely to lose the hubcaps off your own car if you tarry along the road.

In fact, I have no idea how or why there are so many hubcaps along that short stretch of mountain road. But, as humans are wont to do when we encounter something we don’t understand, I felt the necessity of creating a myth for understanding.

BEWARE the Mysterious Hubcap Graveyard of Ubatuba.