Nation & World

Hunk of London’s toxic sewer waste known as fatberg can now be watched 24/7 livestream

The only remaining piece of the 130 ton, 250 meter long fatberg, removed from the sewers in the Whitechapel area of east London in the latter months of 2017, is displayed during a media preview at the Museum of London in London, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018.
The only remaining piece of the 130 ton, 250 meter long fatberg, removed from the sewers in the Whitechapel area of east London in the latter months of 2017, is displayed during a media preview at the Museum of London in London, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Associated Press

Oh boy, does the Museum of London have a treat for you.

Earlier this year it displayed the last small pieces of the city’s infamous Whitechapel fatberg - the monstrous, congealed mass of fat, grease, oil, diapers, sanitary napkins and wet wipes extricated with jet hoses from the bowels of east London last September, according to The Guardian.

The 820-foot-long toxic sewer blob weighed as much as 11 double decker buses and had blocked a sizable section of the city’s old sewer system, the Guardian reported.

It grew into a monster beneath Whitechapel neighborhood where Jack the Ripper committed his dastardly deeds, notes Smithsonian.com.

A weird thing happened to Fatberg while it was on display.

It morphed.

“Whilst on display the fatberg hatched flies, sweated and changed colour,” the museum writes on its website.

Since the exhibit ended in July, “fatberg has started to grow an unusual and toxic mould, in the form of visible yellow pustules,” the museum reports.

fatbergdisplay.jpg
A staff member poses for photographs next to the only remaining piece of the 130 ton, 250 meter long fatberg, removed from the sewers in the Whitechapel area of east London in the latter months of 2017, displayed during a media preview at the Museum of London in London, Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018. Matt Dunham Associated Press

So, the museum has set up a 24/7 livestream of the fatberg - called FatCam - as it works on adding it to the museum’s permanent collection “to fascinate and disgust future Londoners,” says the museum’s website.

The fatberg project in chronicled in the online Fatberg Diaries.

“Our fatberg samples are extraordinary,” the museum writes. “They are like nothing else we have ever looked after. Nobody has ever tried to preserve a fatberg before, so we are having to apply all of our conservation principles to this completely new material.”

It is a blessing that the museum’s livestream does not offer surround-smell.

The chunk - which one curator told the Associated Press looked like “parmesan crossed with moon rock”- stinks.

When it was displayed for the public it sat inside three transparent boxes to keep the smell at bay.

At first, it smelled like a dirty diaper “that maybe you’d forgotten about and found a few weeks later,” museum curator Vyki Sparkes told the Associated Press.

Then it came to bear an odor reminiscent of a “damp Victorian basement,” she told the AP.

Under the bright lights of the livestream camera, the fatberg looks deceivingly clean and pristine, like a snow-white blob of lard.

Wait, is that a fly?

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