Main | Tuesday, January 06, 2009

The Maple Syrup Smell Is Back

That bizarre maple syrup smell wafted over Gotham again yesterday.
The mysterious sweet smell that swept over parts of the city more than three years ago returned on Monday night. The city’s 311 information line was flooded with callers reporting the smell of maple syrup, or something like it, wafting across several neighborhoods, a spokesman for the Office of Emergency Management said. Nearly all of the calls — 35 in just a few hours — came from areas in Manhattan, the spokesman said, although one caller reported smelling the sweet scent across the East River in Queens.

Department of Environmental Protection agency investigators were searching for the source of the smell late Monday night and early Tuesday morning, the agency’s spokesman said. The strange, syrupy scent has descended on parts of New York City and New Jersey at least three times before. Beginning in the fall of 2005, people in various areas of the city and nearby New Jersey reported the scent. Some have theorized that the smell came from New Jersey. Others theorized that it was generated by a candy factory in Manhattan. There were also fears that the odor was linked to an act of terrorism. Officials ruled the odor harmless but never solved the mystery of its origin.
Gothamist reports that this is at least the sixth time that the city has smelled like Mrs. Butterworth's. Last time it was so strong, everybody in my office was convinced it was a failed biological weapon. For realz.

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