Scientists say some people have the ability to smell when rain is coming

Despite being in the supposed peak of summer, numerous Brits have been experiencing familiar rainy days recently.

While our European counterparts endure scorching temperatures exceeding 40 degrees, back at home, we are struggling to reach 20 degrees.

Given the occasional unreliability of weather forecasts, what if there were an alternative method to predict approaching rain?

Well, everyone is quite acquainted with that delightful, refreshing scent that fills the air after rainfall.
Usually, this distinct aroma becomes prominent when it rains after a long period of sunny weather - a rarity this year.

Interestingly, some individuals assert that they can actually sense the approach of inclement weather, sparking numerous debates on social media.

The idea that certain people can pre-emptively smell rain has created a divide in opinions, with some staunchly affirming their ability to do so.

However, skeptics who lack this ability often dismiss the notion of smelling rain before its arrival as a mere myth - prompting the need for scientific investigation to validate or debunk this claim.
Surprisingly, there is evidence supporting the notion that certain individuals can indeed smell rain before its arrival, and this phenomenon is closely linked to 'petrichor.'

The term "petrichor" finds its origin in Greek, with "petros" meaning stone (as in petrify) and "ichor," the substance that coursed through the veins of the Greek gods.

This distinct scent is generated by soil bacteria, which emits a chemical compound known as 'geosmin.'

Remarkably, our capacity to detect geosmin is quite impressive, even surpassing the ability of sharks to sense the presence of blood.
This specific aroma becomes most noticeable following a period of rain, as the raindrops hitting the ground and spreading out have the ability to capture pockets of air within them.

Subsequently, these bubbles act like tiny aerosols, carrying any chemicals and microorganisms present in the soil into the surrounding air.

However, that's not all; the chemical compound 'ozone' also contributes to the fragrance.

Ozone possesses a distinctive scent, sweeter than the aroma of petrichor. This particular odor of ozone can sometimes indicate an impending storm.

The reason behind this is that pockets of ozone gas are forced down to ground level by the winds associated with the approaching storm.

As a result, these ozone pockets are at the level where our nostrils are most likely to detect them.

Truly, there's always something new to learn each day.

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