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Minnesota may have made Kansas City smell so bad they called the cops

Meteorologists think the culprit may have been cows, or pigs -- but they're sure the stink came from our general direction.

Meteorologists think the culprit may have been cows, or pigs -- but they're sure the stink came from our general direction. Glen Stubbe, Star Tribune

Now, this is a little embarrassing.

Earlier this month, the people of Kansas City, Missouri noticed the air had a certain flavor to it. Commenters on Twitter couldn’t decide if it smelled like “really bad foot odor,” “mildew,” “dumpster,” “low tide,” or… well…

“I went for a walk tonight and thought I stepped in dog shit,” one said.

“I thought the same thing and I don’t even have a dog,” another replied.

“Told my coworker that it smelled like horses crapped in the street,” yet another said.

This was no ordinary funk. This was something foul, and it was city-wide. People started calling the local news station and demanding answers. It got so bad that the Kansas City Police Department sent out its own tweet asking people not to freak out and call authorities.

The National Weather Service investigated, using a “high-resolution reverse trajectory model” to find the source of the stink. Bad news: Apparently it was us.

Kansas City meteorologists say the odor probably came from cattle farms in southern Minnesota. The stench supposedly got trapped in a “shallow part of the atmosphere,” hugging it close to the ground and keeping it from wafting away. Then cold winter winds from the north blew it straight toward our neighbors.

One meteorologist attempted to pinpoint its origins to the Top Notch Stock cattle farm in Albert Lea. But according to the Star Tribune, it was Minnesota’s pig farms, which had recently been treated with manure… and for what it's worth, Iowa probably helped.

There’s no good way to say “Sorry for making your city smell like poop.” Bring Me the News went on the offense instead, quipping that it was KC’s own fault for living downstream, and to prepare for more as cold fronts continued to move through.

But for what it’s worth, Kansas City, we didn’t mean to cause any discomfort. Shit happens.