This article originally appeared on VICE US
Back in high school, Alan Whitman invented a smell, which by his own account, has a whiff of "butt crack, kind of sewer smell, with a hint of dead animal in there." He created it with a chemistry kit his parents had gifted him, and though he won't reveal exactly what's in it, it's gross. It's called Liquid Ass.
As reported by KQED, a public radio station in Northern California, when Whitman realized he was going to get laid off from the truck manufacturing company where he worked, he and his friend friend Andrew Masters decided to have a little fun. Their favorite prank was dribbling a little Liquid Ass near the microwave in the break room at work, then pulling up a chair to watch the chaos unfold. And there was chaos: Management fixed the water main, replaced the microwave, pulled up the carpet, and closed off the bathrooms in an attempt to get rid of the stench, all to no avail.
Sensing how powerful the product was, Whitman and Masters realized they could have something profitable, so they decided to sell it. Two years later, the spray had taken off—not only as a piece of prank equipment, but as a way to train medical professionals.
You can listen to the full story of how the world's most disgusting scent was invented on KQED's new podcast, The Leap.
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