In the 1958 horror flick The Blob, a baby-faced Steve McQueen warned authorities about a shape-shifting, eponymous entity intent on murdering people. While we're not saying that the disconcerting ooze pictured above—which is currently emerging from an exhaust vent on the stairwell descending into the northbound 23rd Street C/E platform—is definitely a Blob, it does make us wonder.
A tipster informed Gothamist earlier this week about the secretion, noting that he'd seen similar substances oozing out of other subway station exhaust vents in the past. An MTA employee, who wished not to be named, told Gothamist this morning that it could maybe be tar.
In 2014, Slate investigated a spate of odd gunk gathered on subway platforms, finding that it was mastic (tar) had been been historically used to waterproof older subway tunnel structures—it started oozing from the roof onto platforms when the seasons turned and it got hotter outside. It's unclear if a similar phenomenon is causing the aforementioned blob to spill out onto the subway steps, though the weather has been particularly fickle lately.
The MTA told Gothamist that they're looking into the blob, as well as what's causing it. In the meantime, please enjoy the trailer for The Blob below.