go to content

A Mysterious Giant Foam Blob Oozes Through A California City

2016 isn't over yet, folks.

Originally posted on
Updated on

A mysterious giant foam blob consumed a street in Santa Clara, California, Friday.

Here's a shot of the foam blob in #SantaClara from #SkyFox live now https://t.co/P1TmlZwgsV

The foam began oozing shortly before 11 a.m., the San Jose Mercury News reported.

Its origins were initially unclear, but the Santa Clara Fire Department eventually said the fluffy white substance was released by a malfunctioning fire suppression system at a nearby airport.

“It’s essentially like bubbles in your bathtub," San Jose Fire Capt. Mitch Matlow told the Mercury News.

The foam filled an entire building before eventually oozing out into the street and filling the 300 block of Martin Avenue.

Police are on scene near #SanJose airport as foam is expanding, flooding the surrounding streets:… https://t.co/K9aNAWy9a1

It's drawing quite the crowd in San Jose, this foam blob from a fire retardant malfunction filled Martin st

By 12:30 p.m., the foam was at least 5 feet deep, according to KTVU.

Police responded to the scene, though there seemed "to be confusion about what to do next, and how to remove the massive amount of foam from the street," the station reported.

Guy just rode his bike through the foam. Now police are blocking it off to prevent copycats.

One biker decided to brave the foam, riding straight through it.

"Yeah, someone had to do it," the biker, Blake Harrington, told KTVU. "We were on the other side and the officers over there were like 'you should ride through.' And I was like, 'OK you guys don't mind?' So we decided to do it."

Blake said that the foam was 10 feet deep, and that he rode into a sign.

Check out this awesome bike rider, cycling through a spewing foam spill in Santa Clara. Rad! https://t.co/tr3AyNrUOu

A police officer told ABC7 the foam was "non-toxic" and will "dissipate on its own" — eventually.

However, the station reported that the foam could be a skin irritant.

By about 3:30 p.m., the Santa Clara Fire Department announced on Twitter that clean up efforts were underway, but that it was a "massive operation" that "will likely take several hours."

Matlow told KNTV that the foam resulted from an "accidental discharge of the system," though it was unclear what caused it.

"Why the system went off here I don't know," Matlow said.

2016, y'all.

If you've been searching for a metaphor for 2016, I submit https://t.co/YjehvEewsL

i wish every day were foam day tbh

CORRECTION

The Santa Clara Fire Department shared the source of the foam on Twitter. An earlier version of this post misidentified it as the San Jose Fire Department.

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.