Residents of the Welsh town of Dowlais Top have a pretty gross problem on their hands. A strange foul smelling foam is seeping out of the ground, and officials haven't been able to explain it. In fact, according to Wales Online, the small village in Merthyr Tydfil has been dealing with the mysterious foam for years now, but residents say that there's been a recent uptick in foam incidents.
The white foam seems to be coming out of the sewer system and brings with it a foul smell. So far, officials have not been able to identify the exact cause of the strange foam, and public speculation includes placing the blame on a shoddy sewer system or a meat packing factory, which are both incredibly disgusting possible explanations.
With no explanation of the foam so far, Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales are both investigating the strange events, and they are urging residents to report any foam sightings immediately. They say that there's a much better chance for identifying exactly what this foam is if they can observe it while it's still seeping out from the ground:
"The trigger for the release of the effluent might be immediately apparent to the inspection staff on site at the time. It is often much more difficult to discover these after the event."
Councilman Declan Sammon also urged residents to report any instances to the Environmental Health branch of government:
It would be appreciated if, after reporting incidents to the Dwr Cymru Welsh Water and Natural Resources Wales, the residents continue to let environmental health know of the incidents as well.
We may have no formal regulatory powers for dealing with them but it is a wider public health issue we would like to see resolved.
Reports of mysterious foam are not unique to Wales. In April of 2016, a strange foam flooded the streets of Japan after a powerful earthquake. In Utah, a bizarre green foam was reported spilling out of the sewer system. Just this past February, strange balls of foam were washing up on the beaches of France.
The potentially most bizarre case of strange foam is in Morocco, where large fluffy balls of foam fell from the sky.
In many of these cases the bizarre foam seems to caused by environmental pollutants of some sort. Is this our ultimate fate as a species, to be smothered by the disgusting foamy fruits of our own carelessness? It would be pretty poetic.
Maybe foam balls will be to our coming cyberpunk dystopia what tumbleweeds are to stylized depictions of the old west: A stinky fluffball ambles through the streets of New New York on the breeze generated by the carbon reclamation machines. Above it, a five story animated advertisement addresses you by name, selling a new lab grown hot-dog (hickory-smoke flavor). The tumble-foam hits your shoe. You shake it off, and you both continue on your way to nowhere in particular. Just two ships passing in the night, in the city that never sleeps.