IM WHEEZING SO HARD ICB THEY EVACUATED 500 PEOPLE BC OF A DURIAN YALL ARE WEAK pic.twitter.com/SwYbcqXcXp— wei ☾ (@taejinsuga) April 29, 2018
The fears of a gas leak at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia were, fortunately, very anti-climatic.
A gas leak was reported at the on-campus library and a hazardous-materials team was sent to the institute to investigate the source of the “potentially dangerous chemicals.”
The culprit, however, was far less threatening.
The smell, as it turned out, was caused by a rotting durian in one of the library’s cupboards. Termed as the “world’s most smelliest fruit” by BuzzFeed, the durian, with its pungent smell, made around 500 students and teachers evacuate the building in what they thought to be a potentially life-threatening gas leak.
In a statement, titled aptly as a “Rotten afternoon on campus,” the Metropolitan Fire Brigade debunked the fears of the evacuated individuals.
“After a comprehensive search, firefighters identified the smell was not chemical gas, but gas generated from rotting durian, an extremely pungent fruit which had been left rotting in a cupboard,” the statement said.
“The smell had moved around the building via the air conditioning system,” the statement continued.
After an earlier evacuation that turned out to be a false alarm, New Academic Street and the library are now open. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to those on campus today.— RMIT University (@RMIT) April 28, 2018
The smelly fruit is popular, or rather notorious, in many parts of the world, especially Southeast Asia, where it is mostly used in desserts. However, there is nothing appetizing about the fruit; from its hard shell and rotting smell, not many would dare try a durian.
A food writer, Richard Sterling, said the fruit is “best described as … turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock,” according to Smithsonian magazine.
“It’s like we opened up a dead chicken,” said one man in the BuzzFeed video where a group of people tried the fruit for the first time.
The fruit smells so rancid, it is banned on Singaporean subways.
Whatever you do, no durian. Found on one of Singapore's MRT (metro) stations. pic.twitter.com/Q6H8ZxJQGH— Sophie's World (@SophieOfNorway) December 10, 2014
Durian’s reputation might not be as bad as stated above, though. However little, the maligned fruit has its fans. It is used in numerous Southeast Asian recipes.
As for the durian responsible for evacuating 500 people in Melbourne, Environment Protection Authority Victoria will take care of it.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha