Postcard from... Los Angeles
Something is rotten in the State of California, where public safety experts are attempting to identify the source of a foul smell which is polluting Los Angeles and its suburbs.
The stench has prompted at least 200 emergency calls by residents. Most appear to be under the impression that either a sewage main has broken or a toxic spill occurred in their neighbourhood.
In fact, experts believe that the pungent aroma – part sulphur, part rotten eggs – is coming from the Salton Sea, a vast inland lake roughly 150 miles south-east of Los Angeles, where wildlife experts reported a widespread "fish die-off" last week.
Strong winds have added to the problem by churning up the relatively-shallow body of water.
That has in turn exposed portions of its bottom, which is covered in a layer of mud formed from several decades' worth of decaying plants, fish, and other animals.
The sea was formed by accident in 1905, when the Colorado River burst its banks. It measures 360 square miles, sits 200ft below sea level, is highly saline, and has been slowly evaporating in recent decades. That often exposes areas of bubbling mud which often cause localised sulphurous smells.
Whatever the source, the smell was bad enough for schools to have stopped pupils from going outdoors during breaktime. A spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department even hit the airwaves asking residents to stop calling 911.
- 1 This restaurant has misunderstood the concept of 'cheese and biscuits'
- 2 Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face death penalty
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
Spiritual leader allegedly manipulated 400 men into removing testicles to be 'closer to God'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
£7 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Are you outgoing? Do you want to work in...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + 30 days holiday: Ashdown Group: Finance Manager - ...
£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: 3rd Line Support Engineer / Network ...
£26000 - £33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Web Developer is required to ...