Scientists Capture the Smell of Rain
Using high speed cameras scientists captured how raindrops release aerosol when hitting a surface.
Scientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology published a video which explains why rainy weather has a specific smell. To understand it, they ran about 600 experiments and published their results in Nature Communication.
Researchers simulated rain in a lab, and using high speed cameras captured raindrops falling from different heights on various surfaces. They discovered that as a raindrop hits a surface, it starts to flatten; simultaneously, tiny bubbles rise up from the surface and form “frenzied aerosols.” It releases a smell, which people call the "smell of rain."
The MIT scientists think their theory may explain phenomena, like why in a rainy weather people become sick more often – “frenzied aerosols” also contain bacteria from the soil. Experimentally they proved that the more aerosols were produced in moderate rain make it easier to become infected than during heavy rain.