The concept of death is in human nature, and our imagination corresponds to the image of a dead person, animal, bird or insect. So what connects them that we never thought about before? Smell.
According to the latest research, the human nose can detect a wide variety of odors and react to them even if they cannot be classified. Similar to the odor produced by the chemical putrescine. It’s important to note that this chemical released by the body when something starts to break down is the result of harmful behavior during the animal’s development. Resistance reactions are believed to have originated at least 420 million years ago.
It is believed that animals sense danger by smelling patrescine and react in one of two ways: either a predator is nearby, or their life is in danger, in which case their instincts are to flee.
To confirm that human reactions and behavior are similar to those of animals, scientists conducted four different experiments on humans using solutions of putrescine, water, and ammonia.
The first experiment involved exposing subjects to the odor of putrescine and testing their vigilance during exposure. The results showed that participants exposed to the smell of humus showed significantly higher alertness than those exposed to the smell of ammonia or water.
The second experiment the researchers conducted involved a group of unsuspecting subjects who were tasked with rating odors on strength, aversion, and familiarity. The scientists were interested in how the group responded to the scent and how quickly they moved away from 80 meters away. People who smelled putrescine tended to leave the area faster, suggesting that the scent strongly motivates people to flee.
In a subsequent experiment, participants were tasked with completing a word stem immediately after being exposed to the odor of patrescine.
The result was that the smell of putrescine led the group to collect word stems, most of which were related to escape and other words. And the use of string words made the smell worse.
Insecurity and hostility
In the last experiment, the subjects were exposed to an odor that was too strong for them to smell. In this experiment, they were given a text to read and their task was to evaluate the author.
The participants were hostile and defensive towards the author because they could not recognize the faint smell of putrescine. This showed that when participants were inadvertently exposed to the scent, they engaged in protective behavior.