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Stinky Durian Mistaken for Gas Leak, Prompts Mass Evacuation

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Stinky Durian Mistaken for Gas Leak, Prompts Mass Evacuation

An Australian university library was evacuated after a “lingering gas-like smell” was reported - all because of a rogue durian fruit. 

Fire and rescue teams in the Australia Capital Territory arrived promptly at the Canberra University library to search the premises, conducting 'atmospheric monitoring' to find the leak. An hour later the source of the stench was found: a durian fruit in a plastic bag left near an air vent.

According to the Guardian, this is the second time that a durian has caused the evacuation of a university library in Australia. The other time occurred in April 2018, at the RMIT campus in Melbourne, where firefighters and rescue staff were called in to search for the suspected 'gas leak'.   

Durian fruit is known for its pungent smell, the travel writer Richard Sterling once describing it as “pig-shit, turpentine and onions, garnished with a gym sock.”

It is hugely popular in Southeast Asia and China where the fruit is eaten fresh, and in desserts such as cakes, pastries and ice cream. Many journalists have attempted to describe its flavour in the past, but there has never been one description to pinpoint the taste of this bizarre fruit. From rotten onion, runny French cheese to creamy caramelised banana custard, durian is a fruit that can truly test even the most adventurous eaters. 

Despite its popularity, in many countries it is officially banned to bring durian into hotels, airports and on public transport. In Singapore, for example, there are signs on the national subway system that forbids the carrying of durian inside the subway. 

Curious about trying durian fruit? Check out the reactions of these people who try durian for the first time:

100 People Try Durian, the World's Stinkiest Fruit

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