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Why Is Foam Falling From the Sky in Manhattan?

By Melissa Lafsky
Sep 11, 2009 9:39 PMJul 12, 2023 5:59 PM


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We here at Discover rarely look out the window, so enthralled are we with the daily goings on of the science-related interwebs. But a tipster (the tech guy, who actually does go outside) informed us that a strange, unexplained phenomenon was occurring outside our office: Foam is falling from the sky. It looks like snow, only it's not anything that nature could drum up. Where it's coming from and why remain a mystery. Exploded dry cleaners? Cargo plane dropping mattresses? Our crack research team (aka Brett the Intern) is out collecting samples for analysis.

If you have any insider info on the strange foam assault, email us at mlafsky@discovermagazine.com. UPDATE: We will have video shortly. UPDATE 2: The Forbes.com people are also concerned about the foam tempest. (Yes, Forbes, we r in ur buildingz, watching u make galereez.) UPDATE 3: The foam appears to be soap that's being shot from the building ventilation system or water pipes. The soap was created by men who felt the need to wash the roof of 90 Fifth Avenue. In the pouring rain. Thanks to all the tipsters who have written in, offering theories from rampant laundry room emergencies to September 11th pranks.

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