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Can We Smell Fear?

We all know that our senses trigger emotions, but can we actually smell emotion? Looks like we can. Some scientists collected armpit sweat (I know, repulsive) from a couple handfuls of guys watching both scary scenes from The Shining and also disgusting scenes from MTV’s Jackass. Next, they asked a few dozen women to smell said perspiration while their reactions were recorded. Your nose is probably already scrunching, huh!


Keystone/Getty Images

Well, the women that sniffed in the sweat from the scared guys actually displayed a fearful expression on their faces while the women that caught a whiff of the grossed-out odor, they actually scrunched their noses up much like you are right now!

Scientists say these findings demonstrate that humans can at least communicate some emotions by smell, and that could prove useful when large crowds of people are confronted with a dangerous situation.


Flickr / Alberto..

So, what are we to gain from this? I’m not quite sure. So we’re all at a concert and we smell a stampede before it happens? I don’t know about you, but my senses of sight and hearing will kick in and my feet will be moving under me before my nose gets wind of people’s fear sweat, ha! This is kind of interesting though. I’ll have to experiment with this, I’ll bring in a shirt to work tomorrow that I wore while driving past a skunk and another that I wore while running from it and I’ll have all of the Townsquare women smell my shirts (might have to pay them) and take pix of their reactions and post em on here… Although you can all picture which expression they’ll have… 😉

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