It’s Okay To Be Smart Explains Where the Pleasant Smell of Rain Comes From

On the latest episode of the PBS Digital series It’s Okay to Be Smart, creator and host Joe Hanson does a fantastic job of explaining where the pleasant smell of rain comes from.

If you said “from the sky,” then congratulations! You are hilarious. But it’s a lot more interesting than that. The pungent perfume that accompanies rainstorms carries special chemical signatures, some born from lightning, some from deep within the soil.

And beyond just being pleasant and nostalgic, those smells are actually useful to some living things, such as telling plants when it’s time to grow, guiding camels across the desert, and even signaling some fish when it’s time to get “romantic”.

Take a big whiff, because there’s a science storm a-comin’!