Phenomena

Visualizing Smell

Every day we’re surrounded by an invisible world of smells. Like the fluorescein dye in the animation above, these odors drift and swirl in the background flow. What you may not have stopped to consider when you smell the roses, though, is how the very act of sniffing changes the scent. When you inhale, filaments of the odor are drawn into your nose, and, likewise, when you exhale, your breathe mixes with the scent and sends it swirling outward in turbulent eddies. To see more about the science of scent, check out PBS News Hour’s full video below. (Video credit: PBS News Hour; GIF via skunkbear)

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