Fire departments in Los Angeles and Santa Monica got calls today about a foul odor, and believe the stink is an ocean-based natural occurrence blowing ashore from the Santa Monica Bay.
Santa Monica fire haz-mat crews were called out to the oceanfront after getting calls at 8:30 a.m., and found unusual concentrations of odorless methane gas in the air, said a dispatcher named Walker.
That led them to conclude that either a pocket of stinky algae, or bubble of methane laced with sulfurous gas, had surfaced in the ocean.
Such occurrences are not uncommon in the bay. Sam Atwood, a spokesman for the Air Quality Management District, said his agency has not confirmed the Santa Monica Fire Department's theory.
Los Angeles fire dispatchers also got calls about the odor.
Last September, a widespread sulfurous stench noticed from Indio to the San Fernando Valley was traced back to a biological occurrence on the landlocked Salton Sea.