A stench spread over the city

A stench spread over the city

Updated 11.19 | Published 11.08



Onions and eggs?


Sewage or sulfur?

What did it really smell like in Helsinki?

Social media in Finland was flooded with question marks on Sunday. A disgusting stench spread over the capital city of Helsinki on Sunday.

Residents described the smell as so bad that they wanted to protect their noses and mouths, write Helsing Sanomat.

– The balcony door was open and I had to close the door because of the smell, says Kajsa Sutonen to HS.

Some thought it resembled burnt rubber, sewage or sulphur. Others wondered if it might be crabs or other foods.

– You are used to the smell of barbecue, but this is different. The air smelled of onions and eggs, says reader Salli Raeste to HS.


full screen Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

No authority knows

The emergency services received several alarms about the strange stench, but could not find a cause. However, it was found that there was no health hazard for the public, even if the smell might not have been perceived as pleasant.

Several authorities were involved, but they too could not solve the mystery, reports Iltalehti.

The Finnish Border Guard investigated the sea area in the Gulf of Finland. No pacifier there.

“The Estonian authorities have also been contacted about the matter. They had no observations of anomalies on Estonian territory,” the border guard writes in a press release.

The meteorological institute, the alarm center and the Helsingsfors environmental authority have no answers either. The Radiation Protection Authority has also carried out analyzes and concluded that it is not radiation in any case.


full screen Photo: Magnus Hjalmarson Neideman / Svd / TT

Theories about the cause

While there are no answers, there are theories.

Martin Forsius is a research professor at the Finnish Environmental Center and has a clue.

– My guess is that this is related to some kind of industrial emission. But this is all speculation, he tells Iltalehti.

There are also observations of a strange smell in Russian Saint Petersburg, reports Iltalethi with reference to Russian media. On Friday, a stench reportedly spread in Saint Petersburg and according to Russian Vodokanal, it may have been from a spill.

Finnish meteorologist Jouko Korhonen tells Iltalehti that it is possible that the smell could have traveled from there to Finland.

– The wind has blown all the way to the Gulf of Finland. If it smelled in Saint Petersburg, maybe it was the same smell, he says.


full screen Photo: Jonas Ekströmer / TT