Museum Wants to Display Glob of Congealed Grossness

We are speaking, of course, of the fatberg
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2017 7:11 AM CDT
London Museum Wants Piece of 'Horrid' Fatberg
In this undated handout photo issued by Thames Water on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, a view of part of a fatberg inside a sewer in Whitechapel, London. British engineers say they have launched a “sewer war” against a giant fat blob clogging London’s sewers.   (Thames Water via AP)

Congealed wet wipes, diapers, fat, and oil—not exactly what you'd expect to see behind glass at the Museum of London. But if the museum has its way, that's what will come to pass. The city is in the midst of a three-week "sewer war" against a nearly 300,000-pound fatberg that is clogging an East London sewer. An eight-person team is chipping away at the object with shovels and high-pressure hoses to break it up, and the museum has asked for a piece that it plans to keep in what the BBC describes as a "sealed container."

Curator Alex Werner says it wouldn't just be something to ogle, but would raise questions about the pressures posed by a growing population, the trouble with aging infrastructure (London's sewers date to the mid-1800s), and the "wrong way" in which we use our sewer systems. It would also have to be carefully contained, he suggested to the Guardian following a visit to the site of the behemoth. "It’s a horrid smell—fairly pungent. I'm back in my office now and I can still smell it around my nose"—even though Werner didn't actually enter the sewer. More on the fatberg, which weighs as much as 11 double-decker buses, here. (More fatberg stories.)

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