Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Wednesday's Word: Petrichor

Petrichor (n):
the scent of rain on dry earth.

How to use it:
There are few things that stirs my soul as petrichor does. - Antonie Fourie

My lust for petrichor meets the earth's lust for rain. - LF

The musty, barky smell of fresh rain fallen on the dry earth is petrichor. - Oxford online dictionary

Fun Facts:

  • Only noun in English that means a specific scent.
  • It is made-up of two Greek words, petros = stone and ichor = fluid that flows in the veins of gods in ancient myth.
  • The smell derives from plant oils absorbed by dry soil that is released into the air, along with a by-product of bacteria (geosmin), when the soil gets wet.
  • Biologists suspect that petrichor entering water passages indicates to freshwater fish that it is spawning time.
  • The geosmin's fragrance also serves as a beacon, helping camels find their way to desert oases. In return, the bacteria that produces geosmin use the camels as carriers for their spores.


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