What's the deal with the green sludge spilling onto the streets of Manhattan?

The green substance appeared to bubble up near a sewer close to the 9/11 memorial in Manhattan.
The green substance appeared to bubble up near a sewer close to the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan.Maria Noyen/Insider
  • Green sludge bubbling near a sewer in Manhattan is raising questions on social media.

  • Footage of the sludge went viral on Thursday, and the substance has yet to disappear as of Friday.

  • Locals Insider spoke to seemed unfazed, while some tourists thought the liquid could be dangerous.

Halloween might be behind us, but there is something spooky happening on the streets of Manhattan.

On Wednesday, footage of what appeared to be a thick, bright-green sludge oozing around a drain a block away from the 9/11 Memorial and Museum began circulating on social media. An X user named Dan Pantelo shared a video of the bizarre incident and jokingly asked: "Can anybody explain this or are we just living in full blown Gotham rn."

His post had 23,000 likes and over 7,000 shares as of Friday.

"Looks radioactive," one user commented as others joked that it was time to "call Ghostbusters" or that the sludge looked similar to the substance that turned the main characters of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" into mutants.

A day later, the green substance is still present, though it has melted down into large puddles of equally green liquid. In any case, three questions remain: What is it? Where did it come from? And is it dangerous?

New Yorkers aren't batting an eye at the green sludge

For the most part, the people that Insider observed walking by the neon-green substance on Friday didn't appear to be fazed. Most either saw it and passed right by or didn't seem to pick up on its strange appearance altogether. Some, however, did whip out their phones to snap a photo before hurrying away.

Speaking to Insider, Diego, a 17-year-old New Yorker, wasn't worried in the slightest about the liquid.

"Knowing New York, stuff happens. Weird stuff happens," he said. "People just walk by and don't pay attention to it."

The NYC green sludge that went viral on Thursday has turned into a bright green liquid.
The NYC green sludge that went viral on Thursday has turned into a bright-green liquid.Maria Noyen/Insider

"I wouldn't say dangerous," Diego added when asked whether he was concerned if the liquid could cause harm. "I guess it's just like the waste coming out from the sewers."

Giovanni Marin, a staff member at O'Hara's, a restaurant and pub located directly across from where the green liquid bubbled up, was similarly unfazed. He told Insider he was under the impression it was related to a sprinkler test conducted in a hotel undergoing construction down the street that O'Hara's and other neighboring businesses had been notified about earlier in the week.

However, Michael Black, the general manager of The Cloud One Hotel next to O'Hara's, told Insider that they were not aware of the green sludge in question nor did they have any sprinkler tests ongoing. Instead, he said the notice came from another building being constructed nearby and was related to pipe tests being conducted by the New York Fire Department.

Black added that he did not believe the green sludge was related to the FDNY's tests. The FDNY did not respond to a request for comment.

Some tourists were slightly more concerned about the 'Ninja Turtles'- colored substance

There were some tourists who weren't as undaunted by the bright-green liquid.

Richard and Shayla Johnston, a couple visiting NYC from Texas, told Insider they were surprised no one had seemingly addressed the liquid thus far and speculated that it could contain dangerous chemicals.

"Maybe it's Freon," Richard said, referring to the refrigerant sometimes used in air-conditioning units. "I have no idea what it could possibly be. But it's definitely not good, whatever it is."

"You can certainly tell that it's not natural," Shayla added. "It's giving me, like, 'Ninja Turtle' vibes."

A couple visiting from Texas told Insider they were concerned the liquid could contain Freon.
A couple visiting from Texas told Insider they were concerned the liquid could contain Freon.Maria Noyen/Insider

The couple also said that back in Texas, an incident like this would be treated seriously. "If we saw a green substance on the ground, we'd be very concerned," Richard said, adding that questions would be raised about whether it was affecting drinking water or if it could impact businesses and schools nearby.

Meanwhile, a person visiting NYC from Los Angeles, who asked to remain anonymous, told Insider that they'd seen worse back home. "I've been here a few times and this is hardly anything, and compared to LA, this is a lot cleaner. In LA, you're going to step over human waste and stuff on the ground," they said.

That said, they believed that the substance was likely dangerous.

"I'm sure it's probably something bad, something that shouldn't be there," they added.

Insider reached out to the New York State Department of Environmental Protection about the green liquid and was advised to check with Con Edison and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for more information. A representative for Con Ed told Insider crew members were sent to the site and confirmed that the company's equipment was not the source of the liquid. A rep for the Port Authority did not respond to a request for comment.

Though the bright-green liquid and its source remain a mystery, it isn't the first time green sludge has been spotted on the streets of Manhattan. Back in 2017, social media was up in arms about an eerily similar-looking substance, which The Gothamist reported was likely antifreeze.

Months later, the outlet also reported that a different puddle of green goop was spotted by passengers waiting for the subway at the 34th Street-Herald Square station, which turned out to be green dye.

Read the original article on Insider