What is petrichor?Asked on: Oct 12, 2023 03:29 AM
So, you've asked about petrichor? That's a pretty fancy word, my friend! Petrichor is a term that scientists use to describe the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil. You know that lovely smell you get after a summer rainstorm? That's petrichor. It's like Mother Nature's own brand of perfume!
Now, you might be wondering where this smell comes from. Well, it's actually caused by a couple of things. First, there are certain oils that plants release during dry periods. When it rains, these oils are released into the air. Second, there's a type of bacteria called actinobacteria that produces a chemical compound called geosmin. Geosmin also contributes to the petrichor scent.
But here's the fun part: humans are particularly sensitive to geosmin. In fact, we can detect it at concentrations as low as 5 parts per trillion! So next time you're enjoying that fresh after-rain smell, remember - it's just your superhuman nose doing its job!For more info on Petrichor BBC News on why we can smell rain