After a week of waiting, University of California, Santa Barbara's (UCSB) corpse flower finally started to bloom on Tuesday afternoon. The university's campus greenhouse was soon filled with its trademark putrid smell of the very rare and equally as large Indonesian flower. Right before blooming and releasing the overwhelming stench, which has been likened to that of feces or decaying meat, the Corpse Flower heats up to a temperature close to the human body's at 91°F.

During the unfurling, the flower is so hot that it releases steam along with its horrid smell, and after only three days, it dies. The titan arum is considered the biggest, rarest, and smelliest flower to date, and its bloom only lasts for 24 to 48 hours, which stimulates the masses to visit.

UCSB released a statement that said the four-foot-tall flower "smells like a cross between rotting flesh and Limburger cheese," but that didn't stop the hundreds of people that lined up to witness the blooming of the rare plant. Only 150 bloomings have been recorded worldwide.

"This is a rare occurrence under cultivation and even rarer in its native Sumatra, where the deforestation of equatorial rainforests has wreaker havoc on its habitat," Danica Taber, the UCSB biology greenhouse manager, said in a press release.

The flower, named Chanel, is designed to attract fertilizing flesh flies and carrion beetles instead of bees that spread its sticky pollen and scent caused by the two sulfurous chemicals. Flesh flies look similar to the common housefly, but typically feed on dead animal tissue, similar to the carrion beetle, which feeds off the bodies of dead and decaying animals.

The Corpse Flower is the second titan arum to bloom in the United States recently. In late July, fans and curious gawkers fled to the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., to see the flower nicknamed Mortimer and smell its rotting scent. The flower in Santa Barbara is the oldest of three Corpse Flowers at the university and was artificially fertilized with the D.C. flower's pollen. However, workers at the greenhouse won't know if the fertilization was successful until after the plant dies.

The average height of the perennial herb is four- to five-foot-tall and will die shortly after it blooms, but if its spadix, a small spiked stem in the center, remains erect, then the fertilization was successful. It will then start to produce bright orange and red orbs of fruit, which are the size of cherries, up and down the shaft that grows into a 200-lb. corm root and will take five to seven years to bloom into full-sized titan arums. The flower looks very similar to an ear of corn, which has a record height of nine feet, and when the growth slows down to less than an inch per day, botanists know it's getting ready to bloom.

The flower only blooms every six to 10 years, and the entire process requires a significant amount of energy, which is why the bloom is so rare and short-lived. When it dies, a new one grows in its place, but remains dormant underground for about four months, then the waiting period begins, and the flower blooms and dies all over again in a very cyclical pattern.

These plants, although cyclical, have an unpredictable future. They're endangered in the wild due to the suffering and encroachment of their natural habitat because of human development.

"Any seeds that Chanel and Mortimer produce from their cross-continent union will help further conservation efforts for this bizarre, majestic, and threatened plant," Taber said.