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Illustration: Bryan Mayes

‘Disgusting’ giant fatberg confronted beneath the streets of London

It weighed the same as a small bungalow!

Joe Mackertich
Written by
Joe Mackertich

An absolutely massive fatberg has been discovered lurking beneath the foundations of Canary Wharf. The blob, caused (as usual) by people flushing wet wipes, nappies and cotton buds, was said to be roughly the same weight as a small bungalow, with an aroma redolent of ‘festival toilets and rotten meat’. Yummy!

Fatbergs have been a real problem for London’s sewers in recent years. More than 140 tons of this stuff were removed from our drains in 2019 alone. This one sounds particularly foul, so props to the men and women who spent the last two weeks getting rid of it, using hand tools and high-powered water jets.

‘This was a huge, disgusting fatberg that took a great deal of brute force and teamwork to clear,’ said Thames Water’s head of waste networks Matt Rimmer. 

Let’s ignore the suspiciously perfect metaphor (bloated, poisonous monster quietly growing underneath a landmark synonymous with global capitalism), and focus instead on how an old-school fatberg panic feels positively charming at the moment. Does the fatberg know there’s a pandemic on? Now that there’s an even greater evil, can it somehow join Team Humanity and help defeat the virus, perhaps?

Since the professional Fatbusters (our term) have already removed the monster, we may never find out. No word on whether they intend to study its remains and maybe learn its language so that in the future our two species can co-exist peacefully, human and fatberg, side-by-side in harmony for ever.

‘We'd ask everyone to help fight the fatberg by only flushing the 3Ps – pee, poo and paper,’ said Rimmer. ‘As well as disposing of fat and oils in the bin, not the sink.’

All this talk of fat got you in the mood to eat? Why not check out the best restaurants delivering in London.

Cleanse yourself with our list of ways to stay happy and healthy during lockdown in London.

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