What's that awful smell hanging over Southern California? We found the answer

The scent wafting across the region prompted many to make calls to the South Coast Air Quality Management District.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- In recent days, residents across large swaths of Southern California have been complaining of a strange and off-putting smell.

Vikki McDonald of downtown Los Angeles is one of them and described the stench as "a stinking armpit with a cabbage rotting inside it."

The scent wafting across the region prompted many from as far as Beverly Hills to Glendale to make calls to the South Coast Air Quality Management District. And still, a source could not be definitely determined.

The agency then sent out investigators who concluded that the smell may be a result of some really colorful organisms.

"Based on what we're seeing, we do believe it's organic in nature coming from the red tides," said Terry Mann, deputy executive officer of enforcement with South Coast AQMD

Valerie Burkholder with the Aquarium of the Pacific told Eyewitness News that the bioluminescent occurrences that have been spotted along the region's coast is the cause as the algae that creates those spectacular views are starting to die off.

"The thing that's responsible for it is the Dinoflagellate," Burkholder said.

"Mother Nature can do some gross things sometimes and this is just one of those many examples."

There's a chance the smell could stick around for a few more weeks, which leaves residents left with the mission of finding ways to mask the stench.

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