A New Study Says Humans Smell Their Hands After Shaking Hands With Someone, Possibly Sending Chemical Messages

A new study done by a team of researchers led by professor Noam Sobel at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel points to the newly discovered human behavior that we smell our hands after shaking hands with another person. Similar to how dogs smell each other’s butts to convey chemical messages, Sobel and his team believe shaking hands may provide a form of subliminal social chemosignaling.

Video of some of the subjects shows the behavior, as they as are greeted on camera with a handshake.

The team also studied how gender impacts hand-smelling frequency. After shaking hands with a member of the same gender, test subjects smelled their shaking hand 100% more often than a control. Conversely, handshakes with members of the opposite gender saw a sharp increase in the smelling of one’s own non-shaking hand.