Tuesday afternoon a mystery odor rolled over Encinitas, which had a lot of locals scratching their heads—and plugging their noses.
Around 5 p.m. authorities began receiving reports of the smell, which was described as similar to natural gas. The odor reportedly moved south, to Solana Beach and Del Mar. By 6 p.m. reports of the smell were coming all over North County, according to the City of Encinitas Fire Department’s Facebook page.
Fire crews and SDG&E teams searched for a gas leak, to no avail, according to the San Diego Sherriff’s Department.
The suspected culprit? Natural gas that seeps out from the ocean floor.
The Encinitas Lifeguards offered up that explanation shortly after reports started coming in, according to , who was listening to authorities on his scanner radio.
The Encinitas Undercover blog offers more on the theory, explaining that the release of natural gas happens when there’s a thermal turnover of layers offshore—and it’s pretty common this time of year in the height of the summer. In fact, some locals may remember a very similar mystery odor that set in on Encinitas around this time last year.
The smell has seemed to subside which has locals breathing easier, literally.
Patch will keep you posted on any more updates.