Durian is a fine-tasting but very bad smelling fruit. Although Southeast Asia calls it “the king of fruits,” Wikipedia says the fruit’s smell “evokes reactions from deep appreciation to intense disgust, and has been described variously as rotten onions, turpentine, and raw sewage.” The fruit is so pungent, especially when it starts to go bad, that it has been banned from some hotels and public transportation in Southeast Asia.
So we guess it’s not too surprising that an undiscovered durian fruit, left rotting in a cupboard, led to a mass evacuation on a Melbourne college campus, as many believed that the smell was due to a dangerous gas leak. The BBC and other outlets report that the smell traveled throughout the air-conditioning system at a campus library, causing 600 students to flee and emergency crews to arrive, only to discover the stinky fruit was at fault.
With so much non-stinky produce to choose from, we just can’t imagine the appeal of purchasing a fruit that even has the slightest chance of turning into a hazmat situation, but maybe that’s just us.