Seattle Gum Wall
The Gum Wall, also knows as the Wall of Gum, is located in Seattle's Pike Place Market, close to the box office for the Market Theatre Gum Wall Pike Place Market/ Facebook

A wall covered in chewing gum has become a popular tourist spot in Seattle, in spite of the fact that a poll ranked it among the "germiest" attractions in the world.

The Gum Wall, also dubbed the Wall of Gum, is located in the Pike Place Market, close to the box office for the Market Theatre. It is covered from floor to ceiling with thousands of colourful chewing gums.

The tradition to stick gum to the wall is thought to have started in the 1990s by theatregoers who wanted to get rid of their chewable treat as they were in line for a show.

Local authorities have ordered the wall to be cleaned several times.

The last time was in 2015, when it took workers an estimated 130 hours to fill 94 buckets with 2,350 pounds of gum, according to local reports.

However, the efforts were vain as the wall was soon covered again.

A Facebook page affiliated to the tourist attraction says: "Creators of the gum wall have taken their time, spelling out their name or their significant other's name along the wall. Others have posted their hometown or their home country. And a few have even put up messages of hope and peace.

"Since the gum wall's inception there have been reports of walls of gum created in various communities across the United States. However, none of them has gained the fame (actually infamy) of the Gum Wall in Pike Place Market.

"Seattleites use the gum wall in a variety of ways, even as an unusual backdrop for wedding photos, something the theater staff sees about twice a month. Photographs of the wall also have graced business brochures. Tour groups visiting the Market stop daily to see it."

Travel website comapany TripAdivsor ranked the spot among the five most germ-packed sites in the world.

"A bizarre tradition at Seattle's Market Theatre in Post Alley has turned into a fascinating yet very germy attraction: a giant wall of gum," said the website.

"Some intrepid visitors have even molded shapes and faces out of their masticated gum. One TripAdvisor traveler reminds us, Don't forget to contribute to the gum wall!'"

Some users described it as "gross" and "dirty", but many others said it is "unique" and a "must-see" attraction. Tourists seem to love it and social media is flooded with pictures taken by visitors.