Take a good sniff. 

Doesn’t it smell good out there? So fresh, so clean. There’s just nothing like that sweet smell of rain, right? But I’ve always wondered what causes that smell? Why is it so sweet? 

Turns out that as the rain hits the ground and interacts with the soil – ba-boom – that’s when the magic happens. So, the rain hits the earth’s surface and traps tiny air pockets (we’re talking really tiny). These bubbles then rise to the surface and carry with them microscopic material from the soil. When they pop, they release these tiny particles into the air and create an aerosol layer…almost like a fog.

So, that’s what you’re smelling – it’s the soil and all the great tiny things living right under our feet. Want to see what I’m talking about? Check out this video made by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who really took this to the next level. They used high-speed cameras to capture and study this surprising phenomenon. 

See for yourself:

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About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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