NEW: What was that mysterious stench in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach?

March 08, 2018
This cow swears it is not behind the smell. (Damon Higgins/The Palm Beach Post)

Royal Palm Beach and Wellington residents took to Facebook Wednesday night to ask the question: What stinks?

A mysterious blanket of foul-smelling ... something stretched over the western communities late Wednesday afternoon, lingering into the night before dissipating Thursday morning. 

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Royal Palm resident Bob Markey, whose family formerly owned and operated the local weekly Town-Crier newspaper, is the administrator for two Facebook groups: Royal Palm Beach Speaks and Wellington Speaks

“There's a horrible stench in the vicinity of Lowe's and State Roads 80 and 7,” Markey posted to both groups last night. “Is it only here or are other people smelling this in Wellington and Royal Palm Beach?”

He was not alone. Soon, both posts had dozens of comments from people sympathizing with his smelly plight. 

Unfortunately, the culprit is tough to pin down. 

One manure hauler suggested the source could be a manure dump site in the area. Another person who contacted The Palm Beach Post suggested yesterday’s west winds blew the smell in from the agricultural fields between Wellington and Royal Palm Beach and Lake Okeechobee. Yet another person familiar with manure said the smell would not carry that far -- nearly 25 miles. 

Could manure be the culprit behind a smell that blanketed the western communities Wednesday night?  Photo: Thomas Cordy/The Palm Beach Post

Residents vented on Facebook about the stench. They also came up with some theories about what might have caused it. 

“I smelled it when I got home from work,” one person commented. “... Smells like really bad dog poo.”

Several people commented that the smell made them check their shoes for dog excrement. 

“My dad passed the burning of the fields on his was back from the Glades today,” another person wrote. “That is what it is, they are burning off all the fertilizer on the fields, that’s why it smells so bad.”

Many of the comments made creative use of a particular emoji that looks like a smiling pile of feces. 

It’s not unusual for pungent odors to fill the air in the western communities during the equestrian season. With hundreds of horses in town, Wellington has had to institute rules for manure haulers to try to curb illegal dumping. 

Do you have a theory about what caused the smell? Comment here, or head over to our Facebook page: