People were reportedly puking and fainting in their seats.
Photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.
Human bodies are beautiful, flawed ecosystems, filled with millions of tiny microbes and bacteria all mixing and swirling and dancing delicate dances inside our guts. (Remember Osmosis Jones?) Unfortunately, our bodies are not precise, finely-tuned machines—they are not perfect, and they periodically do gross things, like, you know, randomly smell like weed sometimes. This is normal.
And yet, there are times now and then when a perfect storm of microbes inside a body create a reaction that produces a smell that is so bad, so heinous, so brutally awful that all other smells pale in comparison. This week, an unfortunate man on a Dutch flight reportedly suffered that kind of rare BO fate—and managed to reek so bad that the flight had to make an emergency landing, the UK's Mirror reports.
This was no ordinary body odor. This was some kind of chemical weapons-grade stench. The unnamed man was on his way from Amsterdam to the Spanish island of Gran Canaria when his scent reportedly overwhelmed the Transavia airline's cabin so horribly that fellow passengers started yakking. Others fainted, their own bodies apparently deciding that the only way to deal with the smell was to slip into the sweet embrace of unconsciousness.
"It was like he hadn't washed himself for several weeks," a passenger named Piet van Haut told the Mirror. "Several passengers got sick and had to puke."
The flight crew, not knowing what to do, reportedly tried to usher the guy into an airplane bathroom in hopes that it would quarantine his smell, but the frail lavatory accordion doors were no match for the herculean smell. As passengers retched and blacked out, the pilot decided that there was only one thing left to do, and the plane made an emergency stop in southern Portugal to unload the sad, stinky man.
Transavia's official statement said the flight made its emergency landing because of "medical reasons," but an airline spokesman conceded to the Mirror that "it is indeed right that he smelled quite a bit."
It's unclear if the smelly guy ever did make it to his final island destination or if he was dipped into a Lysol bath by Portugal airline security and banished back to Amsterdam, but in any case, he should probably take a long, hard look at his diet and bathing regimen before flying again.
As the Mirror points out, this isn't even the first time an awful stench has plagued a Transavia flight recently—earlier this year, a farting passenger caused a full-on brawl inside one of the airline's planes and caused a similar emergency landing. So maybe Transavia should look into some better ventilation systems or something. Or we should all just stop flying, because, good lord, sky travel is a monumental nightmare.
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This article originally appeared on VICE US.