London's titanic ‘Fatberg’ is grosser than you can imagine and bigger than two football fields



What the …

Fat. It’s what we all want to lose a few pounds of. It’s what makes our food taste good. It’s a parody song by Weird Al Yankovic. It’s also what has congealed into a horrific mass the size of two football fields under the streets of London and is threatening to ruin the city’s plumbing. Ladies and gentlemen, the “Fatberg” is here.

There has never been a better press release from a water company than that of Thames Water, who announced the discovery of the Fatberg under London’s Whitechapel district.


Thames Water announced a three-week plan to extricate the blockage from the sewer, which is made up of a congealed mass of fat, cooking oil, used diapers, and wipes that have been in the sewers for so long they’ve become a concrete-like consistency.

Throughout the release the company keeps casually referring to “fatberg” like fatberg is a thing people have known about forever.

Thames Water’s head of waste networks, Matt Rimmer, said: “This fatberg is up there with the biggest we’ve ever seen. It’s a total monster and taking a lot of manpower and machinery to remove as it’s set hard.”

Eight brave souls have been tasked with conquering the beast. They will be using high-pressure water jets to carve chucks off the fatberg and bring it above ground, where it can be disposed of properly.

“It’s basically like trying to break up concrete. It’s frustrating as these situations are totally avoidable and caused by fat, oil and grease being washed down sinks and wipes flushed down the loo.”

Thankfully the crew are decked out head-to-toe in hazmat suits, complete with respirators, because my brain can’t begin to comprehend what decades of fat and used diapers would smell like.

Thames Water is using the fatberg as a cautionary tale to spearhead its “Bin it — Don’t block it” campaign, which is trying to educate the public on putting trash in the trash can, not down the drains. It sounds simple enough, but fatberg is proof that it’s more difficult than it may seem.

h/t Washington Post