Fatbergs seem to be a fact of modern life in London.
Our slovenly habits – such as disposing of wet wipes and cooking fat down the drain – result in terrifyingly huge blockages in our city’s sewer system.
One recent example weighed over 130 tonnes, was longer than Tower Bridge, and, having set ‘as hard as concrete’, took brave waterworkers weeks to remove from subterranean Whitechapel. That’s when someone at the Museum of London had an idea: let’s exhibit this thing! And today, my friends, that unseemly dream has become a reality. (See more art exhibitions in London.)
Now, if you were hoping for the full fatberg experience – perhaps suspended overhead like a putrid, poopy Hope the Whale – you are liable to be disappointed. For the exhibit, far from being an enormous cross-section of the fatberg’s enormous girth, is closer in scale to a clinical stool sample. Seriously:
At least the two vile chunks are sealed behind glass, protecting guests from the remaining aromas.
To add a little bit more pizzaz to the lipid lump, the curators have surrounded it with some informative bits and bobs revealing how fatbergs are created (and us) and dealt with (by people with the world’s worst job.)
Also spotted: what seemed to be a miniature motorized model fatberg that, although not in operation at the time, had the capacity to zoom around and chase visitors? Exciting times!
All in all, I’m not sure this would wholly justify a trip to see alone – but it is just one very small nugget (o-ho) of the Museum of London’s permanent collection, which tells the story of London history from pre-historic times to the present day. And it’s definitely one of the more unusual exhibits to be revealed in a museum recently. Fatbergs: a bit crap, but mostly wet-wipes.
Location: Museum of London, 150 London Wall, EC2Y 5HN. Nearest stations: Barbican or St. Paul’s. See it on Google Maps.
Opening hours: Seven days a week, 10am – 6pm.
Price: Entry is free!
More information: head to their website.