Watch 20 Years Worth of Gum Get Power-Washed Off a Wall in Seattle
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Watch 20 Years Worth of Gum Get Power-Washed Off a Wall in Seattle

Pike Place Gum Wall, Seattle
Barcroft Media via Getty Images

We've had some time to cope with the downfall of Seattle's famous Pike Place Gum Wall. For the first time in 20 years, the wall got a much-needed cleaning, marking the end of one of the city's quirkiest attractions. Locals had a lot to say about the event—both good and bad. On the pro side, the rats that were previously attracted to the sticky sweet will have to find a new home. Con: the wall was a true attraction drawing new visitors to the Pike Place Market.

The Guardian did some digging into the actual washing process. The dirty job is done by a steam washer that heats up to 280 degrees and "delaminates" the gum from the wall. Luckily, they took some footage so the rest of us can see how its done. In true tourist attraction homage, people gathered to document the cleansing and share their thoughts. One local—Emily Crawford of Pike Place Market—even shared a bit of math with the masses: "I think there's probably at least one million pieces of gum on the wall. I did a rough calculation this morning: If each piece of gum weighs a gram, then that equals about 2,200 lbs of gum, give or take." Yikes. Check out the footage below:

Erika Owen is the Audience Engagement Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @erikaraeowen.

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