A strange smell engulfed Karachi Tuesday night and continued till October 10 morning, leaving residents of Karachi bewildered.
Residents complained that the air was ‘stinky’. Many amateur sleuths tried to figure out what the smell was but they weren’t successful.
There’s the weird smell in Karachi right now. Felt it at gym, now at home. People reporting same on Facebook too.
— HK. (@HammaaadKhan) October 9, 2018
Weird smell in Karachi from last 2 hours, anyone else noticed it ?
— Ibad (@ibbaaadddd) October 9, 2018
SAMAA Digital, however, has found out just what that smell was.
According to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, there is no ‘scientific’ explanation. The Met department said that the smell spread due to a change in the direction of the wind.
“Every year, the wind changes and the smell spreads,” an official said.
Muhammad Moazzam Khan of the World Wildlife Fund-Pakistan said the smell spread due to noctiluca, also known as sea sparkle.
Noctiluca is a free-living species found in the sea. It is visible under a microscope and found in the sea near Oman and Karachi. It is possible that the strong South West winds blew them to the coast, where they died as it is not an ideal environment for them.
“The smell then spread everywhere,” he said.
The Fisheries Development Board’s Habibul Ahsan remarked that the smell was caused by high levels of pollution. “The condition of the coastal areas is deteriorating,” he said.
The Sindh government said that it has no system to determine what caused the smell.