Have you ever noticed that there is sometimes a particular smell after a rain? I remember as a kid wondering if I might be the only one who smelled the rain. Well, it turns out I wasn’t. Scientists actually study the smells of wet weather and back in 1964 two Australian scientists coined a term for that pleasant scent: Petrichor.
Petrichor occurs after a dry spell and most commonly after a light rain. The rain causes the air bubbles in porous surfaces to rise up and release their aerosols – a combination of plant oils and a chemical compound called geosmin. Heavy rains can wash them away. You can read more about it and even watch a video here.
So next time it rains, grab your wellies and your kids and head outside to experience it with all of your senses!
Have a wonder-filled week.
P.S. There is also a distinct smell during a heavy rain, especially a thunderstorm, that’s noticeable sometimes even just before it starts. This smell is caused by ozone.
P.P.S. If you missed it, you can find last month’s word here.