Much of human history must have been an olfactory challenge. For one thing, people are smelly, and the commonality of bathing before the 20th century in some cultures was questionable.
For another, there are recorded periods of history that are full of things like open trenches where people would flush their waste.
These things are mercifully no longer a part of our daily lives.
But that doesn't mean bad smells have been eradicated. Much to the contrary, because of how uncommon they are, we notice them even more.
Redditor JA-darkside asked:
"What smell have you experienced that you will never forget?"
Here were some of those answers.
Dark Days On The Ward
"Hospitals. Both of my parents died two months apart and I was in them every day. I'll never forget that weird, sanitized smell."-PREClOUS_R0Y
"That probably explains my aversion to Elizabeth Taylor White Diamonds and most flowers. Grandpa died when I was 3, and we had many other deaths in the family before I even turned 10."-tacobelmont
"Literally all of them. I'm that person who will smell a rosewater lotion and be like 'Wow this smells like the bathrooms at the Foxwoods casino!!'"
"I haven't been to Foxwoods since I was 8, though I was there semi-frequently due to my parents working there. But for real, almost any damn smell I can connect to SOME point in my life."-AriIsMySavior
"Ammonia. I did some work at a fertilizer plant, they had a urea tower where they used a lot of ammonia and every once in a while you would find yourself downwind and get a blast of it."
"Not only does it smell bad it burns your mucous membranes. You can feel the 3D shape of your sinuses inside your head when they get irritated all at once."-OhAces
These smells are sure to (figuratively or literally) burn their way into your memory.
A Little Creepy Dude
"There was this girl I liked that is friends with my buddy in college."
"When my other friends and I were visiting them one weekend, I slept on the floor of her dorm and she had this air freshener plug-in that smelled very sweet like vanilla and flowers or something similar."
"When I got back home from visiting, my pillow smelt like that for the next couple nights and it reminded me of her every time I went to bed. It was some of the best sleep I've had in my life."-Round_Rectangles
The Past In A Room
"My Grandpa's study in his very old house. His study was full of books, the smell of cigars smoked long ago, old carpet, aging furniture, scotch, etc."
"I was at a wedding recently where the venue was a 'club' for management/corporate type people. It was old, probably hadn't been updated since the 80's."
"I walked into one of the lounges and was hit with the same smell and thrown back into my childhood at his house."-ialo00130
There Was Going To Be One About Diarrhea.
"Diarrhea, once I believe I consumed food that was poisoned and I had horrible diarrhea that was dark brown, it came out like pee."
"It lasted for about a week and the stench wasn’t the worst part, it hurt like hell. I lost around 10 pounds over the span of a week because I wouldn’t eat and if I did I would either throw it up or just poo it out."-LennyGaming69
Wow, I'm On Fire!
"The smell of my hair burning when i lit myself on fire. I was trying to take a bong rip and my hair got in the way and immediately lit on fire."
"I fell out of my chair smacking my head to try and put the fire out. I could hear my hair burning and it started burning my head and my face."
"I finally put the fire out and was just laying on the floor in my room with smoke coming off of my head. The smell of my burning hair was so disgusting."
"But the worst part...I dropped the bong and my entire bowl went all over the carpet. I cried. 😭😌"-_gloomysunday_
Senses, as the most powerful tools people have, really play a part in shaping a person's experience of the world.
Why Did People Have Carpets
"The 3rd floor of my school. I had really bad anxiety and the school didn’t have proper ventilation. Like the windows were sealed shut and it was horrible during the pandemic."
"The smell mostly came from the carpet because of how old it is. It hit you when you entered that floor and my stomach would start gurgling from the anxiety."
"Strawberry kiwi kool aid tastes like how the carpet smells."-waitwhat2604
The WORST Possible Smell In The 21st Century
"Near where I live, there's a decent amount of sewerage, garbage, algae, etc, around natural water spots and mud, that you never want to go into if you can help it."
"Especially never ingest it or let it touch an open cut or wound. You can for the most part avoid the awful smell and sight, as most of these areas are hidden and not easily gotten to."
"One summer, a few years back, I didn't have much to do, so I would just walk around looking for these places(There's this pond that at I found that was covered in some pink kind of algae)."
"So because I was around these kinds of places on a consistent basis, I of course got my foot in some undesired places."
"The muddy and wet shoes would carry the smell of the place, and I don't think everyone will get the way I'm about to describe it, but it's the most accurate way I can."
"It smelled like some one cooked tortellini, pooped on it, and left it out in the sun for a year."-Jyona-San
"Rotting potatoes and liquified bell peppers that had been donated i encountered while I did an internship-esque thing at a food bank sorting the donated food."
"Also while working at a landscaping company this older guy asked us to clean up this sorta enclosed outdoor space that he had used as his dogs toilet for months while he was recovering from some kind of accident."
"It was in the middle of summer pushing 40°c for weeks, the space was fully sealed so no way for anything to be washed into the ground, the dog had clearly been suffering from diareha for a while and on that day we had some warm summer rain."
"With all that said rotting potatoes and bell peppers are still 1#."-Karlmarx95
"My grandmother passed away 20 years ago. I still know what her home smelled like." ~ Down_Low_Too_Slow
"Pig slaughterhouse. Still love me some bacon though." ~ Meat-walker
"It’s livestock, so a bit like a barn, but like industrial grade levels of unmaintained filth caused by the literal pools of shit filled pig urine that sloshes out of every truck that drives through. Then there’s this smell of rancid rotting bile under it. It’s mild, but very obvious." ~ CounterSanity
The Strangest 'Wrong Number' Stories | George Takei’s Oh MyyyBefore we all had caller ID, wrong numbers phone calls were commonplace. But now that almost everyone screens their calls, it's wrong number texts that have ...
"The perfume that this one girlfriend wore, way back in high school." ~ bigredcar
"Oh man do I feel this. The perfume thing is so visual, I can still see her eyes, smile, hair, and clothing style. Kathy B. was her name. I asked her what it was once, and she told me, but I totally forgot. It was many years ago." ~ chriscaulder
"Burning plastic in barrels at an industrial park in Istanbul. You knew it was shortening your life with every breathe and you couldn’t escape it." ~ real_schematix
"Paper mill." ~ Positive-Source8205
"Yes! There’s none near me where I live, but I can still remember the smell from only driving past them one time! One was in Maine and one was In Oregon." ~ furnacemike
"When I was in high school I got to go to the National FFA convention in Indianapolis and they had all these booths set up. One of the booths was for Spam. It's not a horrific odor, but it is one that I wish I had never smelled." ~ happyhumorist
"My cattle dog tangled with a skunk and got sprayed and made it into the house before I could stop her. Omg that sulfur garlic rank smell... so bad. I managed at least then to grab her by the collar and chuck her back outside to clean her off." ~ MadCraftyFox
"Bad smell- one night my dog expressed her anal glands on my bed while i was sleeping. It took forever to get the smell out of my mattress. It was horrific. Good smell- my grandmother's cooking." ~ amahler03
"She parked on a north facing hillside dirt road in the middle of the Southern California desert in the summer, rolled up the car windows and locked the doors, and ingested about 100 assorted pills, We found her a week later (we call her a 'popper.' because the body is so bloated that they typically will 'pop'). That was in 1979, and I still remember the smell. 😢." ~ Maxsdad53
"The smell of death. when my aunt was dying in the hospital that was all i could smell in her room. When my grandpa was dying in hospice that’s all i could smell. The smell stayed in my nose for days, and I’m still catching whiffs sometimes weeks later." ~ Life_Calligrapher779
Chocolate & Wax
"A college near me that my grandma used to work at when i was very little, we would visit everyday to bring her lunch and i remember the weird, almost chocolate smelling floor wax smell. they renovated the building and the smell is gone, but i still get scents of it when i walk in there now as an adult." ~ rainruins
"Fumes of gas from a mixture of oxalic acid and chlorine. These chemicals must not be mixed, as it creates a toxic gas that will cause death. I accidentally mixed small portions of it when i was doing laundry. Both are effective at removing stains. It smells minty at first, but when inhaled it feels like it choked you to death, as if you cannot breathe oxygen. It nearly caused me to death, and i coughed many times in order to breathe." ~ alistairjumanji
Smells can create both positive and negative memories, just as sounds, taste, touch and sight can.
But since smell is so directly linked to our digestive system and our in-the-moment stability, those smells that aren't as pleasant can really leave quite an impression.
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Bodies are beautiful. All bodies, of all shapes, sizes and looks are being more embraced by the world at large now. And what people are loving more and more are what makes our look and bodies unique. What could be more unique than a scar? For better or worse scars mark certain moments of our lives. They remind us of where we've been and where we may never want to go again.
Eight times out of ten, scars come with a great story, because normally we were idiots when we acquire them. But don't rush to cover them up, they can be part of your beautiful.
Redditor u/teatimefancycakes wanted to hear about the ways we've marked up and blemished the temple that is our bodies, by asking:
What is the stupidest reason you have a scar?
I have a scar above my lip. It's a straight line to my nose. I got very lucky because it runs along the lip line I was born with so you can't really see it. But I know it's there. How did I get it? Read on...
Slicedmusic video loop GIFGiphy
"I cut myself on a butchers blade, then wiped the blade on my pants, cutting my leg."
"When I was 6 I thought it would be a good idea to punch a hole in a piece of paper with a pair of scissors while my other hand was holding the paper directly on the other side."
"Done a similar thing, stabbed an empty water bottle to test the sharpness of the knife and underestimated the knife. At least I found out how sharp the knife is."
"Kid me was pretending to be a cat running on all fours, I rammed my head into the dishwasher. Forehead scar."
"Similar story. I shut my eyes thinking I was invincible when I did that. As a precautionary measure, put pillows on floor in case I fall down. Slipped on the pillow banged my head on the door knob. Harry potter scar but the alphabet O."
"One time as a kid I tied a toy triceratops to a string and I was swinging it around above my head. Somebody came into the room and distracted me and that thing flew head first into the side of my head. It was under my hair but if I go bald I might have a weird three pronged scar."
Getting CrookedJimmy Fallon Pain GIF by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy FallonGiphy
"I sat on my hair straightener 😐."
I decided I could fly. I was eight. It was a dark, rainy New York afternoon. I was in my mother's room. I jumped up on her bed using a long, satin sheet as my cape...
Cut OffNinja Lol GIF by Justin GammonGiphy
"I nearly took off my ring finger when I used a stiletto to remove a bandage from my hand. Had to put it right back on. lol"
Don't buy cheap...
"Does anyone remember those bracelets that you slapped on your arm and it coiled on your wrist? And remember how some schools banned them because "tHeY aRe DaNGeRoUs, kIdS WiLl gEt HuRt"? And how most people thought it was an exaggeration and no one was stupid enough to get hurt with them? Well I'm one of those stupid kids. I have a long scar through my inner forearm that looks just like if I tried to commit suicide, all thanks to that cheap bracelet."
the scar to prove it...
"My mom dropped me on my head as a baby. Well less dropped and more slipped on ice where I went flying and landed on a gravel driveway, splitting my few months old head wide open. While it's faded over the years, I've had a large scar at the center of my forehead essentially my whole life. Oh and it's kinda in the shape of a lightning bolt so I'll give you one guess as to how my childhood changed after the first Harry Potter book."
"Other downsides include my Mom's persistent guilt that I wish I could take away, and that one time I had a CT scan and they saw what looked like a mass and I essentially counted the minutes until my next appointment a day later, thinking I was dying. Turns out I have a scar on my brain too. But on the upside it makes for a great conversation ice breaker and when people ask if I was dropped on my head as child, I can proudly proclaim "Yes, and I have the scar to prove it!"
"Was playing handball with a bunch of my friends at school one day during lunch break, when somebody knocked the ball far away and it began rolling downhill. The layout of that area of the school was such that if something started rolling downhill, it was possible for it to go a loooooong way down several sets of stairs and walkways before it stopped, so ideally you'd want to stop it as early as possible."
"I began to run after the ball hoping to catch it before it rolled too far, but as I was running, I got a bit off-balance and began to lean forward. So to compensate, I tried running faster and faster to counteract this. Unfortunately it reached the point of no return where I was at a full sprint and was still in the process of falling further forward, so I pretty much had to just accept my fate by this point - I fell over and hit the concrete at pretty much a full sprint. Lost quite a bit of skin from my elbow, and there's still a small bit of scarring there about 15 years later."
SmoredCamp Fire Smores GIF by Sherilyn CarterGiphy
"Not me but my brother. Managed to get a scar by accidentally hitting a s'more on his cheek when trying to eat it."
It's all dumb to me!
"I was sitting with my legs crossed with my knee under the frame of a very old, wooden waterbed. I lifted my knee and a screw pierced the skin and ripped open a gash three inches long. I sneezed while shaving. I scratched my chicken pox. A metal door closed on the back of my heel slicing off a quarter inch of flesh. I'm clumsy, I don't know which one ranks higher, but they're all pretty dumb."
I flung myself onto the bed thinking I could be airborne, and for a moment I was. I landed on the corner of a small portable radio my mom loved. (Very eighties) And now because I wanted to be the wind, I'm blemished for life. Oh well.
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I love movies. I can't wait to go back to sitting in a theater and watching a new story unfold before my eyes. However, just because I love film doesn't mean I can't embrace and call out its flaws. There are some films that are really fantastic and entertaining but upon reflection, the story has issues. And some issues haunt you. They haunt you because the movie was so close to perfect and yet...Redditor u/KentuckyFriedEel wanted to discuss the films that still haunt us, and not in a good way. They asked... What movie plothole still bothers you to this day?
I will say here and now, and die on this hill... no Marvel film has ever had a complete script. There are plot holes you could drive a spaceship through. And yet we watch. We are enthralled and ready to fight. But seriously, when the euphoria dies down, you know, you have questions.
Where there is Smoke...waterworld slapping GIFGiphy
In Waterworld, paper is the most precious commodity in existence, yet there is inexplicably copious cigarette smoking.
Just watched the Bigfoot cartoon movie on Netflix. The kid says he inherited the ability to run very fast and talk to animals due to being Bigfoot's son. However, Bigfoot was originally a human scientist that was changed into Bigfoot after a science experiment went wrong. His kid was already born when this happened... so no way did he inherit powers. Bothered me more than it should for a kid's movie.
For the Money
You're telling me, that essentially the smartest person in the world. That took a 50k loan from some mafia, and then turned that into millions, in like a few days through some crazy investing scheme. Was unable to have the foresight, to pay back the loan shark on time.
It was explained in the movie, "He was just too focused on making money, and he forgot."
Yeah, okay. The dude remembering a random book he glanced at 20 years ago, simply forgot to pay a loan he took out a few weeks ago.
get pants?the hulk GIFGiphy
How come the Hulk's pants always still fit down to his thighs, if he's getting big or small?
Not exactly a plot hole, more like a gap in logic, but in "Minority Report" when Tom Cruise's character gets flagged for committing a future murder, PreCrime doesn't disable his permissions or security clearance. Like this organization is LITERALLY ahead of its time but they don't think to revoke his clearance???
Those are all valid points and maybe now shine light for me on reasons why I carry disdain for several of those titles. Logic really should be simple. When you're writing, things should make sense. It's like the basic rule. Anyway...
I Hate Santa
In Polar Express, the kid who almost misses the train never gets gifts from "Santa" for Christmas presumably because his parents can't afford presents, meaning either A. Santa isn't real or B. Santa hates poor people? But at the end of the movie the main kid gets the bell from Santa directly so canonically Santa said forget that kid in particular I guess. This has haunted me for decades.
Back to the Future II is one of my all time favorite movies but the entire plot doesn't make sense. Why would they need to go into the future to prevent Marty Jr. from doing the horrible thing he does? When they go back to their present it's going to undo it anyway. Why wouldn't they just wait and then try to prevent him from doing it when the time comes?
Stand Backliam neeson chloe GIFGiphy
Ras Al Ghul standing next to a microwave emitter, explaining it turns the water in pipes 100 feet away into steam, but apparently isn't strong enough to turn the water in his body into steam when he's standing 10 inches away.
Picard could have left the Nexus and gone to any place at any time and he chose to go with an unarmed elderly man to fistfight a guy on a mountain minutes before a doom rocket launches. I can think of about 500,000 better strategies.
AmnesiaBrandy Norwood Magic GIF by Disney+Giphy
Cinderella has always bothered me. We're supposed to believe the Prince falls in love and remembers NOTHING about this woman? No one remembers her face? Hair color? Nothing???
I knew there was something about Cinderalla I had issues with. Like, is he blind? He can't describe the love of his life? That would be a red flag for me. Or even a white one. But suspension of disbelief. It keeps us going. Happy viewing...
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