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Study Reveals Why It Smells So Good after It Rains

| January 20, 2015 Comment

Study Reveals Why It Smells So Good after It Rains – A new study from MIT is revealing exactly why it smells so good after it rains, and it has something to do with a process similar to champagne.

The rain smell is called petrichor and is caused by precipitation.The term was coined in 1964 by two Australian researchers, I. J. Bear and R. G. Thomas and first appeared in an article in the journal, Nature.

Researchers Joung and Buie found that when rain hits a porous surface, like soil, tiny champagne-like bubbles of air are trapped and shoot upward. Those bubbles, or aerosols, may release aromatics (i.e. that earthy smell) and possibly other things stored in soil, such as viruses and types of bacteria.

What does the study mean and why should we care? According to the researchers, “This finding should be a good reference for future work, illuminating microbes and chemicals existing inside soil and other natural materials, and how they can be delivered  in the environment and possibly to humans.”

The study was published in Nature Communications.

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Category: Useful Cool Fun

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