First Post Here – Does everything in life excrete a gas? When you think about the act of ‘smelling’ something, you’re usually not physically touching your nose to it. Does this mean everything that smells like anything in life technically lets off a gas?

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First Post Here – Does everything in life excrete a gas? When you think about the act of ‘smelling’ something, you’re usually not physically touching your nose to it. Does this mean everything that smells like anything in life technically lets off a gas?

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Smells aren’t always the result of a gas.

They are often the result of small *solid* particles that just happen to be suspended in gas. This is why we things.

Like how a plane floating on air isn’t itself air, neither are a lot of the chemicals we smell.

Not everything, but liquids diffuse in the atmosphere and organic molecules can become airborne for multiple reasons.

Our bodied evolved smell because the things we need in our day to day lives emit organic molecules: nice food, ripe fruit, other people, rotting meat, mold, etc

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Well yes, at least anything liquid has vapor pressure, some of it just floats off with atmosphere. Solids much less so, even then some atoms getting loose and floating off still happens.

You are right. Everything that you can smell emits a gas, or vapor. The molecules of that vapor get into your nose where there are 400 different types of smell detector (receptor).

Each type of detector reacts to a different set of chemicals. A few different detectors react to each different chemical, so you can detect a lot more than 400 different chemicals.

Depending on which detectors react to the smell, your brain can decide what the smell “means” – good, bad, disgusting, delicious, etc.