Thursday, June 30, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Why does rain smell so good ?


Posted on Thursday, 4 April, 2013 | Comment icon 16 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
What creates the evocative smell of fresh rain when you venture outside following a heavy downpour ?

Finding the origins of rain's aroma was the primary focus of two Australian scientists who in 1964 begun a concerted effort to investigate the phenomenon. In an article entitled "Nature of Agrillaceous Odor", Isabel Joy Bear and R. G. Thomas coined the term "petrichor" to help describe the smell of fresh rain.

It turned out that one of the main sources of the aroma is the blend of oils some plants secrete during dry periods. When the rain arrives, compounds from the oils are mixed and released in to the air along with geosmin, a chemical produced by bacteria in the soil. "It's a very pleasant aroma, sort of a musky smell," said soil specialist Bill Ypsilantis. "You’ll also smell that when you are in your garden and you’re turning over your soil."

"Step outside after the first storm after a dry spell and it invariably hits you: the sweet, fresh, powerfully evocative smell of fresh rain."

  View: Full article |  Source: Smithsonian Magazine

  Discuss: View comments (16)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by Rocketgirl on 3 April, 2013, 23:49
Petrichor. That was it...thank you!!!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Still Waters on 4 April, 2013, 12:13
I love the smell too. I just wish we didn't get so much rain while other countries don't get enough.
Comment icon #9 Posted by highdesert50 on 4 April, 2013, 12:26
So, scientists have linked the smell of rain to that of the primal consumption of food. Not sure of the primal link, but it is interesting too, how clothes dried outside on a line, develop a nice smell.
Comment icon #10 Posted by moonshadow60 on 4 April, 2013, 15:30
Petrichor. What a good name for it. I love the smell of the woods after the rain, and the scent of garden dirt right afterward.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Sundew on 4 April, 2013, 19:00
I had just assumed that rain washed all the pollen, dust and pollutants out of the air for a time leaving the fresh scent of clean, pure air in their place. You can get used to just about any smell if not too overpowering, it's like if you have a dog or cat, you may not notice the odor even clean animals can impart to your home until you have been away from home for a week. So I figured that you get used to the smells of "dirty air" and then when it rains the scent of the air changed enough to be noticed.
Comment icon #12 Posted by The Silver Thong on 5 April, 2013, 3:13
Acid rain smells good i guess. I would have loved to smell rian 300 years ago emmm
Comment icon #13 Posted by 27vet on 5 April, 2013, 3:15
It is obvious. Rain cleans the air temporarily. There are also more negative ions in the air after a rainstorm.
Comment icon #14 Posted by Andromedan Starseed 333 on 6 April, 2013, 0:22
It is obvious. Rain cleans the air temporarily. There are also more negative ions in the air after a rainstorm. at 27vet what you said is true but also yeah i agree that rain does make the oils of the plants come out as well.so in reality there is more than one answer.either way i used to live in Oregon it rain often and it did smell good the air fresher and cleaner and more pure.
Comment icon #15 Posted by Asadora on 6 April, 2013, 0:33
I can't enjoy any aspect of rain. I get a terrible long lasting migraine headache right before it rains. Sometimes only when it has just started raining. And other times when it has just stopped raining. The smell of rain always triggers a form of a headache that makes me physically ill. I love to watch the rain though, if I'm not double over in pain in bed! I have been this way all of my life. From my research, it would seem it has something to do with the ozone and that there is a small minority of people on the planet that is highly reactive to this type of ozone that penetrates the air whe... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Leave Britney alone! on 6 April, 2013, 3:25
The fresh smell of rain also comes right when it starts raining at times. Very nice if you are by greenery but if you are in a parking lot and it has not rained in a while then the first scent is not pleasant at all. All the dirt, soda, and wahatever else got dropped on the lot all comes up at once...uck.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5709381
259223
160987

 
Disclosure advocate releases NORAD UFO files
6-30-2016
Victor Viggiani released the documents to the public during the Alien Cosmic Expo event on Saturday.
Scientists succeed in making their own lava
6-29-2016
A team from the State University of New York at Buffalo created their own magma as part of an experiment.
Ghostly hand turns up in 116-year-old photo
6-29-2016
A photograph taken of workers at a linen mill over a century ago appears to contain an unexpected extra.
'Lucky' plate sees driver stopped eight times
6-29-2016
A man in China got more than he bargained for when he splashed out $150,000 on the number plate '88888'.
Other news in this category
Scientists succeed in making their own lava
Posted 6-29-2016 | 6 comments
A team from the State University of New York at Buffalo created their own magma as part of an experiment....
 
Human magnetic 'sixth sense' discovered
Posted 6-27-2016 | 19 comments
A researcher in the United States believes he has found evidence of a magnetic 'sixth sense' in humans....
 
Arctic turning bright pink color due to algae
Posted 6-26-2016 | 8 comments
The pristine white of the Arctic landscape seems to have been turning a rather unusual shade of pink....
 
Batman would be 'ill-equipped' say scientists
Posted 6-25-2016 | 56 comments
Researchers at the University of Leicester have determined that Batman would be rubbish in real life....
 
Russian robot escapes, causes traffic jam
Posted 6-25-2016 | 6 comments
An experimental interactive robot known as Promobot IR77 has been up to quite a bit of mischief recently....
 
Boston Dynamics reveals new 'SpotMini' robot
Posted 6-24-2016 | 11 comments
The robotics firm has revealed its latest creation - a dog-like robot designed to help around the house....
 
Russia to build teleporter within 20 years
Posted 6-23-2016 | 32 comments
The multi-trillion dollar endeavour could see teleportation become a reality within only two decades....
 
Mozart lowers blood pressure, ABBA doesn't
Posted 6-23-2016 | 20 comments
Scientists in Germany have been attempting to find out how music affects a listener's blood pressure....
 
New study shows genes stay alive after death
Posted 6-22-2016 | 14 comments
Scientists have found that some of your genes may continue to live for over 48 hours after you die....
 
Daring Antarctic rescue covers 3,000 miles
Posted 6-22-2016 | 1 comment
A sick worker has had to be rescued from a remote research station in Antarctica in the middle of winter....
 
Volcanic lightning mystery has been solved
Posted 6-15-2016 | 7 comments
Scientists have determined the processes which create spectacular lightning strikes during an eruption....
 

 View: More news in this category
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com © 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ