SEATTLE, WA — Jong Lim, a tourist from New York City, takes in this city’s most peculiar attraction — a block-long wall covered in discarded chewing gum. Whether you see this gum wall as just another neat selfie location or a hygiene horror depends on how much you know about the microbial pathogens found in human mouths. In this instance, tens of thousands of people have stuck their blobs of saliva-soaked gum together in what may be the world’s largest petri dish. Holding a Masters degree in public administration and a PhD in health care management, Lim elected to spend the least amount of time possible at the wall, being meticulously careful to not touch anything.
Others spend more time at the wall, some even reaching in to smear or manipulate gum wads into crude mini works of art.
Seattle’s city fathers have previously had the wall scrapped clean but the gum stickers quickly returned to re-establish it.