Officials believe they’ve found the source of a pungent smell that swept across Southern California: A storm-blown waft of fish die-off from the Salton Sea. People in communities as far away as Palmadale and Lancaster, which are more than 150 miles north of the sea, reported smelling an intense rotting egg smell Monday. The combination of a fish die-off and strong storms Sunday likely frothed up the water and agitated bacteria to the surface causing the stench, says Janis Dawson of the Salton Sea Authority. More than 200 complaints were received about the smell. While the odor is a yearly occurrence, it rarely spreads so far. The body of water was formed in 1905 after a flood in the valley. It’s about one-third saltier than the ocean and inhospitable to most sea life, despite being a sanctuary for birds.
South Korean officials found a visibly-intoxicated man, wearing only his underwear, hiding out in a house on the island of Ganghwa at 11:48 a.m. on Sunday. The strangest part? He’s North Korean. The man said he floated south from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea on a large piece of wood, washing up on the shore of Ganghwa, near the South’s western border. Police were called, and he was handed over to the military. He is currently in the custody of the Marine Corps, who are trying to determine his identity and reasons for crossing the border. North Korean defectors have the option of staying in South Korea.
Just one day after Shell began drilling the first offshore well in the Arctic, the company was forced to shut the operation down due to an approaching ice floe. The Noble Discoverer drilling rig was temporarily disconnected from the seafloor Monday afternoon as the ice pack approached 10 miles away. "The Arctic if anything is dynamic," Shell spokeswoman Kelly op de Weegh told the Los Angeles Times. "That's why we have the capabilities we have to monitor sea ice, as well as the ability to safely alter our operations." The well marks the first oil exploration in that region since the early '90s and has been staunchly opposed by conservationists concerned about potential fallout from an Arctic oil spill.