Monday, 7 May 2018

A Rotting Durian Fruit Smelled So Bad

Indonesian Thornless Durian

It Caused a Mass Evacuation at a Library
The fruit, which has been described as tasting “like farts,” was discovered decomposing in a cupboard

Have you ever tried to surreptitiously consume food in the library? Lunch seems hours away, you've been revising since 9 AM, and every poem you attempt to read mentions eating a peach or stealing a plum. If only you had a plum, you think, gazing out of the window. The temptation becomes too much, so you gently pull some prawn crackers from your bag (courtesy of last night’s takeaway), hide a small pile under your copy of Mrs Dalloway, and avoid eye contact with anyone wondering why the hell the lit section smells like prawns at 11.12 AM on a Tuesday. Nailed it.

Unfortunately for students of Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, someone’s secret library snack caused a stink far worse than day-old prawn crackers, when a rotting durian resulted in hundreds being evacuated from the building.

As reported in the BBC, more than 500 people were required to leave the university library this weekend, after students and teachers reported a suspected gas leak. Firefighters were called to the building to investigate the source of the odour, and eventually discovered that the smell wasn’t toxic, but a durian fruit left rotting in a cupboard.

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Hundreds evacuated a college library, fearing a gas leak. It was a durian
A cut Musang King durian is shown by a vendor during the International Durian Cultural Tourism Festival in Bentong, Malaysia, on  Nov. 25. (Sadiq Asyraf/AP)

Add “cause for a university evacuation in Australia” to the long list of reasons that durian may be the world’s most maligned fruit.

About  3 p.m. Saturday local time, Melbourne’s Metropolitan Fire Brigade sent out an alert about a chemical hazard at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

The smell of gas had been reported in a library on campus, the fire department said. A hazardous-materials team was dispatched to the scene to investigate “potentially dangerous chemicals” stored in the building. Amid fears of a gas leak, Victoria Police evacuated about 500 students and teachers from the library.

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Rotten durian causes Melbourne university evacuation
The rotting durian was found in a library cupboard

More than 500 students and teachers were evacuated from a university in Melbourne, Australia, as a result of a smell initially suspected to be gas.

But it turned out the "gas" that students smelt at the RMIT's library was a rotting durian that had been left in a cupboard.

The durian is a tropical fruit known for its strong, stinky smell.

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Hundreds evacuated as rotting durian sparks fears of gas leak
Durian - the fruit known as the smelliest in the world - sparked an evacuation in Melbourne on Saturday. Photo: Alamy

Even when ripe it is known as the smelliest fruit in the world and banned from subways and airplanes around the world.

So perhaps it’s no surprise that a rotting durian sparked fears of a major gas leak in a Melbourne library on Saturday, leading to the evacuation of hundreds of students and dozens of firefighters donning breathing apparatus as they investigated the stench.

Firefighters were called to the RMIT campus on Latrobe Street just after 3pm after a smell of gas was reported in a library.

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lllegal Durians: How Much Trouble Will You Really Get In?

I think the first thing I learned about durian is that it’s banned in public spaces because of it’s supposedly foul odor. That’s usually the first thing Westerners learn about durian. A fruit that is not allowed on buses, trains or in hotels has a certain shock factor, a fact that most journalists disclose in their “hook” or lead-in.

But how much trouble will you really get in for sneaking a little creamy fruit on the subway, a bus, or a hotel? I took the trouble to find out. This is the famous sign making the rounds on most media stories about durian. It’s from the Singapore subway, and while it’s clear that you shouldn’t be munching a packet of Musang King while staring at the sign, does anybody else notice something strange? The sign doesn’t actually say what the fine is for durian. It’s a clear $1,000 SGD fine for smoking on the subway. Taking flammables on the train is the worst offense, with a fine of $5,000 SGD.

But the fine for durian is blank. What does that mean?

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Hail the King of Fruits

Durian is affectionately called the King of Fruit throughout Southeast Asia. With it's size, bristly appearance, and fanatic following, it's an appropriate nickname.

But like in any empire, there is more than one claim to the throne. The Aztecs once hailed the avocado as King. In India, the mango reigns supreme. To find out which fruit deserves the crown, Rob and I traveled to the International Mango Festival in Delhi. Our verdict is in, and here's why.
  • Durian Has a Crown
  • More Countries Call Durian King
  • Durian Kills People
  • The Favorite Fruit of the King of the Jungle
  • Durian Is Just More Awesome.
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Hail the King of Fruits
The King of Fruits in Space
A Rotting Durian Fruit Smelled So Bad
Wild Durians From East Malaysia - Sabah & Sarawak‏