The Smell of Gas has Passed

That smell in Manhattan yesterday? Still no real explanation, although many believe it to be a chemical known as mercaptan–which is the additive that makes natural gas stink. A helpful biologist from Kansas left this comment on a New York Times blog: "Mercaptoethanol is affectionatley called ‘Fart in a bottle’ among molecular biologists." Those comments include myriad theories–ranging from the absurd to the terrifying, for instance that was the smell of the Jets and Giants returning home to terrorists released the smell to learn how gasses travel in Manhattan. Plenty of people took issue with the mayor’s assertion that while he didn’t know what caused the smell, he was confident it was not dangerous. The New York Post pins the blame on New Jersey swamp gas.

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