Do Strangers Think You Smell

Scientists have found that we don't like the smell of strangers.

Good. That would be weird. If your favourite smell was that of people you don't know you'd end up being one of those people who stands too close behind you in lifts.

The flip side is that it means you don't mind the smell of your friends. I would've thought it was the other way round – you pick your friends because you don't mind their smell. If you meet someone and they smell like they wash in sweat you probably don't chat too much.

I know I don't have friends with bad breath because I can't talk to people who have it. Well, if I could talk to them while being nowhere near their mouth, like if I could talk to the back of their heads, but that would look like I was one of those weird people who stands too close to people in lifts.

Here's the research - They gave students smelly T-shirts, one with their university logo and one with a rival university logo. They found the rival logo shirt smellier than the home one.

Now, to be sure it wasn't subliminal suggestion we checked that the logos weren't of a pine forest and a smiling poo emoji, but as it turns out, there isn't a university with a smiling poo emoji as its logo. So I'm learning lots today.

Scientists think this result says we are less disgusted by the sweat of people in our group, and this may be an evolutionary trait as it means we could work closely together in our tribe.

I'd always assumed that life as a caveman just meant coming to terms with the fact that people smell. This was a life before the invention of the shower, soap, and even the toothbrush. People would stink. I was working on a theory that the smell is why cavemen didn't live past their twenties, they just couldn't stand the stench any more.

But this research is saying that we might have liked the smell of the people we shared out caveman life with? These people would've had all the pongs going on. If we were OK with that it's a little dodgy. But back then they hadn't invented lifts, so you could stand behind them and sniff all you want.

>Read the source story


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