Why Asparagus Makes Pee Smell Weird

The latest episode of the Mental Floss series Big Questions features host Craig Benzine sniffing out an explanation to the user-submitted question, “Why does asparagus make your pee smell weird?” The answer to the question is pretty straightforward. The odor is caused by asparagusic acid, a chemical found in asparagus (and potentially only in asparagus) that breaks down into two smelly sulfur compounds.

The answer gets slightly complicated because not everyone digests asparagus the same way, and not everyone can smell odors in their urine.