“It was my first time analyzing a fatberg, and when you smell it, you think this is going to be the last time because the smell was honking,” Love said. “It was awful to do, it smelled gross.”
He explained that he and his colleagues wore stab-proof gloves and steel-capped shoes to protect themselves from any potential dangers within the samples. But after weeks analyzing Sidmouth’s fatberg, the scientists realized they had nothing to fear.
The results found no dangerous bacteria or chemicals in the lumps, which were composed of domestic waste glued together by fats used in home cooking.
“We were all rather surprised to find that this Sidmouth fatberg was simply a lump of fat aggregated with wet wipes, sanitary towels and other household products that really should be put in the bin and not down the toilet,” Love said in the statement.
But, the experts discovered, just as the analysis of London’s fatberg revealed some of its residents’ illicit habits, the contents of Sidmouth’s fatberg hinted at the town’s population — or more accurately, the kind of things they threw away or lost.
A set of false teeth was found within it. So, too, were a number of incontinence pads.
“Sidmouth is a small coastal community that is largely populated by retired people, so in a sense that explains it,” Love said. “This is not a hotbed of crime and drug-taking or anything like that,” he added.