The New York City subway, quite frankly, is gross. Between abandoned cars that smell like crap and people conducting all manner of weird sh*t within its stations and trains, it’s surprising New Yorkers don’t drop in Middle Age Plague numbers from the exposure. That Broad City sketch to open its second season was hella accurate.
Frequently, he and his team also found bacteria that keep the city livable, by sopping up hazardous chemicals or digesting toxic waste. They could even track the trail of bacteria created by the city’s taste for pizza—identifying microbes associated with cheese and sausage at scores of subway stops.
That last part’s salient because of the many bacteria Mason and his team found, several of the most-common concerned food. More from WSJ:
The scientists detected DNA from bacteria associated with the production of mozzarella cheese at 151 stations. DNA from chickpeas, a key ingredient in hummus and falafel, was detected on many subway platforms and benches.
The publication then created a handy, comprehensive graphic that maps all of the stations’ most-common bacteria. As you’ll see below, many commonly visited stops not only have high concentrations of mozzarella and Italian cheese but also microbes that cause…STDs. Revel in the grossness.
Of course, the researchers are quick to note that New Yorkers have no reason to worry about catching UTIs the next time they’re in the Essex St. station: despite these bacterias’ being the most common, they aren’t harmful. Their concentrations are still too low to cause any damage.
Still won’t prevent riders from imagining this the next time they see the metal sliding doors creak open.