Humans Smell Rain Better Than Sharks Smell Blood – Science of Petrichor

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Hello and welcome! My name is Anton and in this video, we will talk about a discovery of why we can smell the rain (petrichor) so well and what it may mean biologically speaking when it comes to a compound called geosmin.

Another interesting article about the insects mentioned can be found here:

Tags: anton petrov, science, physics, astrophysics, astronomy, universe, whatdamath, what da math, technology, steven universe, space engine, universe sandbox 2, Streptomyces, petrichor, smell of rain, why do we smell rain, why does rain smell, how good is human smell, human smell, is human smell sensitive, are humans good at smelling, geosmin, sprintail, human sense of smell, smell sensitivity, mystery of smell, why do we smell

  1. Chinh Phan

    I love the smell of rain.

  2. 1966human

    Something to do with where disease or bacteria can grow or when to plant crops

  3. xlioilx

    1:41 castor bean plant very toxic. =)

  4. James Sawyer

    Petrichor is a very rare smell to me, but I love it so dearly, it makes me feel at home wherever I am

  5. reckneya

    Anton, of the three depictions of springtails you showed, I only recognized one as actual springtails. The clip of the moving insect seems to be a beetle of sorts and the other depiction, the photo of the ‘hairy’ and colorful one seems to be the nymph of a thrips.

  6. David Watson

    My favorite part is when he did math.

  7. Steph Ss

    I suspect it’s an evolutionary tool to find safe fresh watering holes, and maybe prepare to collect it. We can smell when it’s going to snow also.

  8. Matthew Jury

    I can’t stand the rain – Missy Elliott

  9. 999thenewman

    Water has a smell to it in general, just from ionization.

  10. Kevin Silirie

    Oh no! This kinda ruins my enjoyment of this smell.

  11. mrt57rn

    I can before it starts. I love it & thunder storms. ⛈️


    Our sensitively must be due to our Ikaria wariootia ancestry. ;)

  13. Mike Laffoon

    I’m old. My knees are the best rain detector I know. Way more accurate than weather forecasting. This time of year, my nose is too stuffed with pollen to smell anything.

  14. Robert Diehl

    The smell of rain in the desert…very pleasing

  15. A Carrillo

    We evolved from arboreal life, maybe smelling ozone is to evade getting struck by lightning.

  16. 1 2

    the memory hole on google has been scrubbed but here is the answer “olfactory smell 300 ghz”
    just like infections/inductions it is due to high frequency resonance as described by luc montagnier.

  17. what the

    Bacteria as cloud condensing and ice nuclei would be an interesting video.

  18. GRiiM

    Actually cant remember the smell… Here barely rains. But i know i like it, and Sadly, i’ve always loved rain, it’s sad cause it barely happens

  19. workingmans dead44

    wonderful Anton,My favorite science guy

  20. Chris_Wooden_Eye

    I am going to guess we needed to smell the rain when we were living in the Savannah. We needed to know where the rain was and needed to walk there with our little tribe of midgets

  21. Stephen Thomas

    There are 2 kinds of people: those who love petrichor, and The Wicked Witch of The West.

  22. Marley Mersai

    Living in the islands of Micronesia the smell of rain is as refreshing as the first snow fall.smells the same to me.

  23. Illuminated

    My sense of rain smell is extreme. I can smell the rain from deep in the interior of a giant building , far from any doors or windows.

    And to such an extent that I can tell when it’s raining from the interior only by smell, and I’ve asked others around if they can smell the same thing.

    They never have.

  24. James Driscoll

    There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground

  25. Hippi Blue

    I live in a rainforest, so I have to go camping in the Arizona to get away from that rain smells.

  26. KozmykJ

    My immediate thought is that of finding water in seasonally arid conditions.
    If it rains out of sight one could be directed towards a rainfall by it’s odour.
    Just the other day I was standing on a hill when it rained and thundered a few klicks away, about two hills over.
    A few minutes after the thunder I could see the rain falling in the distance and then a cold breeze blew up smelling of rain.
    The extra breeze was from air displaced by the rain.
    So there’s one mechanism that would be detectable olfactorily.

  27. azcactus2008

    I always thought it had something to do with negative ions. 🤣

  28. Christian Martinez

    At first I thought this wasnt gonna b that interesting but this was awesome!

  29. Gino Giotto

    I know, I bet you also thought it was the ozone gas

  30. Zzyzx

    HMMMMMM! Who would have thunk! But it is always a great smell to me. I thought it was from the rain cleaning the air!

  31. Magic Myco

    ✓Wonderful, more of this! From macro to micro

  32. Rick Footson

    I can smell it at low tide too. I think it has to do with finding water.

  33. Red Dwarf XII

    I first heard petrichor used in a Doctor Who episode( _The Doctors Wife_ ). I thought it was just some made up sci-fi thing used for the plot. Now I know better

  34. carolyn tait

    [ found this very interesting i like to learn new information and have not heard of this before thankyou anton

  35. Encode Decode

    It’s our connection to earth. Same like the smell of water, where life originated

  36. Michael Angelos

    Thank you for calling me a wonderful person..

  37. Scione

    Huh. I always thought it had something to do with concrete

  38. Shane Hawk

    thank you, wonderful Anton. this was super fascinating for me :)

  39. John Walker

    End of the mystery? A bugs REAR END!

  40. Osmosis Jones

    Scientist in biology ask why to much over how
    We have more receptors for that particular smell. Evolutonary physiology is just Theories. But. Anatomy cellular anatomy and molecular Antony and be looked under microscope

  41. mohamad tarabain

    FINALLY!, something i knew before he uploaded a vid of

  42. Adymn Sani

    I do love the smell of rain er bugs er bacteria …I still love it. Thanks for sharing this and I smell it here now to, it’s raining.

  43. THE SUZZ

    awww I think those buggies are cute. especially the messy eater thing. that is just really adorable to me. awwww

  44. Chris_Wooden_Eye

    ahhh i love the smell of the rain, but its really just dust we smell

  45. broseph502

    This makes me wonder if there is any correlation between geosmin production and specifically edible or inedible mushrooms.

  46. joshualeniger

    It was about to storm yesterday and I went outside just to smell it cause I love it lol

  47. MUD PIE

    So that’s the reason why I can smell rain before it storms!

  48. TOMAS

    I love it in the desert in Southern Arizona , the Greasewood bush gives off a great smell getting wet !!

  49. Lume.

    When it has been hot, in the night, the air smells very nice, is it due to this same thing?

  50. anonymous anonymous

    Isn’t it just ozone created from lightning catalyzed reactions in the atmosphere? That’s what I recall from some random chemistry textbook. Haven’t watched this vid yet.

  51. Peter Shearer

    Cool, Anton! You’ve answered the second most important question in science: Why does rain smell so good?
    I wait in great anticipation to a future WhatDaMath episode when you answer the most important scientific question: Does the Rain in Spain Fall Mainly on the Plain?
    If you get the answer, I’m sure someone will write a Broadway musical and call it “My Fair Ladybug” [Sounds better than My Fair Springtail]

  52. Chad Dysvick

    Shouldn’t the segment be called: “What the Olfactory Biochemistry”?

  53. Bullets ForTeeth

    We just had a massive thunderstorm pass over Texas last night, the rain smell is still very strong well into the next few days.

  54. ޓކހރ-ލއއބޚ

    Oh weird, for some reason I thought this was going to be about the smell of Iran.

  55. Lacrimosa Dies Illa

    Maybe it has something do with our development as species in the wild, where we lived for dozens of thousands of years.

  56. JSheetz Artwork

    I like the smell of freshly made drawings with some crispy lines.

  57. GrooveMetalBruh\m/

    I love the smell of rain, smells like wet wood….wait no.

  58. THE SUZZ

    god I love the smell of rain especially when it just got finished raining and the air is super duper clean…omfg. I love it. and I’m sure everybody else does also. :) great video .

  59. R Carmisin

    I like to fart in public and say “Do i smell popcorn?”

  60. Dizzy Derwish

    Listen to the song “Rain” by Uriah Heep.

  61. panther105

    All I smell is me smelling like a wet dog when I’m caught in the rain…. But this was brilliant, Anton. Had no idea about this….

  62. Retslien

    I’ve heard that it’s one of the smells sent from heaven, along with baby-smell and others.

  63. Tim Carney

    Negative ions, air charge, and O3 occur also with emf effects of weather.

  64. Chang Noi

    “Can you smell the rain?” Is that the name of your latest album Anton?

  65. Red X

    POOP 4:17 🤣🤣🤣

  66. Emerald City

    Second only to the stench of my own farts.

  67. Tendhix

    I actually thought the smell of rain was already research, I just never researched about it myself, because I didn’t think of it. x)
    But well…the more I know I guess.

  68. ezzz9

    This is not new I learned this one when I was a teen, back in the 1980s.

  69. galaxy

    Anton, I started getting used to hear the daily dose of your voice !

  70. primoroy

    Love the fresh smell of rain, but your choice of street scene in the rain looks suspiciously like ladies looking for a customer! 😢

  71. JSheetz Artwork

    Maybe we can smell lightning well due to us evolving from having to get our fire source from lightning strikes before we invented fire a long time ago?

  72. Matt Ruston

    Why I love smoking weed the same smell is there when you get high cause that’s the stuff we exhale. Lol

  73. Buffalo Guts

    Australians to Anton: “What’s rain mate?”

  74. ParGellen

    Is that video footage of two ***ahem*** “ladies of ill repute” waving down customers?

  75. radradroadbot

    The rain is my favorite smell

  76. Jennifer Reeves

    Just want to say thanks for all the educational videos you really give me something to look forward to on a daily basis I’m a huge fan a big science geek and I absolutely love learning about space and the universe and everything around me thank you keep up the good work babe by the way I’m definitely going to buy one of those cool t-shirts that you wear God bless you and take care of your health and stay safe

  77. Hugh Mungus

    “tend to release the smell when things get a little wet..” oh, Anton..

  78. Tiffany -

    Rest of the world chaos/mayhem. Anton: “smell the rain!”
    Thanks! :-)

  79. Kyyduvl Gregoryl

    I think it is because when our ancestors smelt this, then life was going well. They would have water, they would have their harvest etc. Things were good. At this point, their dopamine went up, they were happy. This went on for tens of thousands of years. And now it is hardwired into our brains to find this smell pleasant, because it is a good thing, it is a good sign. That is my take anyway.

  80. StellarClick

    People living in Saudi Arabia: 🤔

  81. Magic Smoke FPV

    “Can you smell what’s going on?” Shows footage of two street workers at night with umbrellas haha!

  82. Caustic Chameleon

    Now do smell of snow. I can smell snow too.

  83. The Crimson Rabbit

    It’s raining here and I was just thinking about how much I enjoy the smell of it…lol… timing is everything.

  84. ForzaJersey

    One of my favorite smells is the smell after a summer thunderstorm just stopped pouring. 🥰

  85. Crazy Elon

    I love this smell so much that If there was a perfume smells like rain I would take a shower with it xD

  86. Mat Broomfield

    I always just assumed that the smell of rain was just wet dirt.

  87. Smart Primates

    Wish I could see it rain diamonds on Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus or Neptune before I die!

  88. Samual Vansico

    Anton “Can you smell the rain?” Petrov

  89. ozymandias_NIK

    The smell of rain is my favorite. There is something fairly nostalgic about how we can smell geosmin so well.

    I wonder if we will miss it when we end up on different planets.

  90. MC's Creations

    I start feeling this smell a few minutes before the rain. It’s delicious.

  91. Toby Worth

    Theres like two different rain smells, that really nice and calming smell or the stench of the heckin worms .where i live only smells like worms. Idk

    Hope everyone looking around the comments is feeling okay!! Please remember to drink some water and have something to eat<3

  92. CleanerBen

    The smell of dust after rain. You might need to know that.

  93. Worm Party

    Reminds me of that old CCR hit, “Have You Ever Smelled The Rain”

  94. Kevin Bendall

    When the planet cooled, and the forests gave way to the savanna’s, being able to smell the water hole was an invaluable survival trait. That’s my hypothesis, and I’m sticking to it. :

  95. razeezar

    Smells that I always liked are :

    – ‘Rain smell’
    – New Lego smell
    – New basketball card smell
    – Lino whilst it’s being etched with a hot blade (i.e. when making a relief print)

  96. Philip James Doyle

    Greatest feeling I get is the smell of rain evaporating off hot pavement right after a quick downpour.

  97. Hopytoad1997

    What about the smell of an incoming storm? I was under the impression that was caused by ozone and only some people can smell it?

  98. seppuku

    Who else loves the smell of rain

  99. Thomas M

    Back when I was in high school I got an opportunity to attend a program where I could do research in a university laboratory. The team next door told us that if we ever smelled freshness, like the air after a rain, that we needed to get out of the lab as fast as possible, as it would be an indication that the ozone they were working with was leaking and we were a few minutes away from having our lungs burned.
    Made quite an impression.

  100. Kyyduvl Gregoryl

    Petrichor: not only my favourite word, but one of my favourite senses/things. and an Anton video on it just makes it all the better :)

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