Here at, we sometimes like to investigate strange smells. Scientists are people who like to ask questions about things that the rest of us take for granted?like WHY do things start to smell when they decay?

Microbes compete with large animal scavengers by producing repugnant chemicals that make the food sources they invade stink, in order to deter higher species from consuming them first. Biologist Mark Hay says, “Microbes that can hold onto these resources and use them for their own growth would be advantaged over microbes that could not prevent their resource from being consumed by animals.” Hence the stench.

In 1977, ecologist Dan Janzen first suggested that microbes are rotting fruits, molding seeds and spoiling meat to make these resources repugnant to other animals, allowing the microbes to consume them instead.

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