Hundreds of people were evacuated from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia because of a terrible smell assumed to be a gas leak. But according to the BBC, the scent’s source actually came from a rotten durian that had been left for dead in a cupboard. The thorn-covered fruit is widely known for its pungent odor, and has even been called the stinkiest food in the world.
According to The Washington Post, the smell of gas was reported in a library on campus around 3 p.m. on April 28. Some 500 students and teachers evacuated the building and a HAZMAT team was sent to the scene to investigate “potentially dangerous chemicals” that were stored inside the facility.
“After a comprehensive search, firefighters identified the smell was not chemical gas, but gas generated from rotting durian, an extremely pungent fruit which had been left rotting in a cupboard,” the Metropolitan Fire Brigade said in a statement, adding that the smell had spread through the air conditioning system.
Even when durian is simply ripe it doesn’t smell pretty, so we can only imagine how its decaying counterpart smelled. The Cut recently filmed 100 people taste-testing the putrid fruit, and let’s just say they compared it to “trash that’s been under a heat lamp” and “an onion and then a little bit like garbage.” That might not sound enticing, but durian is actually one of the 20 weirdest aphrodisiacs around the world.