New Yorkers were baffled this week when fluorescent green liquid was spotted bubbling up from street sewers near the World Trade Center. Viral photos of the strange “sludge” quickly circulated online, prompting speculation and theories as to its origin.
The images were captured by Daniel Pantelo, who shared them in a popular social media post. “So there’s literal green sludge bubbling up from the ground next to World Trade Center right now,” he wrote. The bizarre and unnatural-looking green goo immediately drew comparisons to radioactive “ooze” from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise.
So there’s literal green sludge bubbling up from the ground next to World Trade Center right now pic.twitter.com/VF7mErx0PH— Dan Pantelo (@danpantelo) November 2, 2023
While some guessed the liquid was toxic waste or chemical runoff, the most likely explanation is much less exciting. The green coloration is believed to be from fluorescent dye used by plumbers to detect leaks and faults in plumbing systems. The dye is considered harmless.
Still, the sight of neon slime oozing from city streets managed to capture the public imagination. While the reality may be mundane, the mystery green sludge briefly brought the surreal wonder of science fiction come to life in downtown NYC.