Pick Me!

A weblog by Laura Moncur


Lake Stench

Filed under: Living in SLC, UT — Laura Moncur @ 4:36 am

When it’s going to rain in Salt Lake City, the air smells of dead brine shrimp. When you visit The Great Salt Lake, it smells like that all the time. Lots of people hate that smell. They call it “Lake Stench.” I’ve grown up equating that smell with rain, so I like it.

People look at you funny when you tell them that you like the scent of Lake Stench. It’s socially unacceptable here to like the smell of The Great Salt Lake. When they complain about the smell, I just keep my opinions to myself now.

I hear people talking about the smell of the ocean all the time. Before I was familiar with the ocean, I used to imagine that it smelled like The Great Salt Lake. I told my friend from Florida this and she retorted, “No way! This smells nothing like the ocean! The ocean smells clean! This smells like…” She paused to think of the right word, “…garbage.”

The stench of The Great Salt Lake smells clean to me. The wind blows over the lake right before the rain storm, bringing the scent of dead brine shrimp and soon after, the rain starts. The rain washes the city clean and dissipates the smell. I guess it’s just what I’ve grown to love about this city.



  1. That is really funny, Laura! It almost sounds satirical. I have to vote with the masses this time, I do not like Lake Stench and I really do not like all the flies buzzing around all the dead brine shrimp. My least favorite of all: I do not like the thousands of spiders inhabiting the piles of rocks and the sailboats near the lake. EEK! But I still love Utah. :)

    Comment by Braidwood — 5/26/2005 @ 7:56 pm

  2. Funny, I was just talking to a friend who just moved to Salt Lake and she told me the houses are soooooo CHEAP! Compared to Southern California where we’re from. I’d like to live near a lake but I guess not Salt Lake…. so…..

    Comment by Eddie — 3/23/2006 @ 2:05 pm

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