Remember the “monster fatberg” – the 250m long, 130 tonne congealed lump of fat, oil, wet wipes and sanitary products found lurking in the sewers of Whitechapel? Back in December, the Museum of London acquired a chunk of it to put on display, describing it as “London’s newest celebrity”, which really puts the newly minted Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle in her place.
Anyway: the fatberg is now in storage – but fear not, for it’s now possible to monitor it, live, from the comfort of your own desk. From a press release:
The Museum of London today has announced that it has now acquired the famous Whitechapel fatberg into its permanent collection. The fatberg will now permanently be on display online via a livestream. It can be viewed here.
I clicked through, because I have poor impulse control, and was greeted by a picture of a disgusting lump of yellow/beige fat engaging in so little motion that it’s not entirely clear it’s live at all. However, a note beneath the feed promises all sorts of excitement:
Whilst on display the fatberg hatched flies, sweated and changed colour. Since going off display, fatberg has started to grow an unusual and toxic mould, in the form of visible yellow pustules. Our collections care team has identified this as aspergillus.
Well, that is reassuring.
Conservators believe that fatberg started to grow the spores whilst on display and now a month later, these spores have become more visible. Any changes to the samples will now be able to be viewed live.
Is it ever likely to do more than this, I asked a spokesperson? “Does… does it move?”
“Not at the moment but who knows what might happen in the future!” came the reply. So, there we are.
Fatbergs, since you ask, are the result of cooking fat, poured down sinks to congeal in sewers. Assorted wipes and napkins are also involved, helping to give the thing structure. There are even fatberg groupies, because of course there are.
If you happen to want stare at a disgusting greasy yellow/beige lump that will always be indelibly associated with London, then former mayor Boris Johnson can often be seen jogging in the Islington area.
And you can watch fatcam here, for some reason.
Jonn Elledge is the editor of CityMetric. He is on Twitter as @jonnelledge and on Facebook as JonnElledgeWrites.
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