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Lovely rain... but a recurring question...

Thunder is rumbling around South London, and the heavens have opened, cooling things down nicely after a busy day involving furniture construction, an interesting press event, and a hot afternoon's shopping for this year's summer wardobe...

But, as marypcb and I were walking back down the road from the tube station it was just starting to spit with rain, leaving us with a question that keeps coming back: what is it that makes that lovely smell of rain on warm pavements?

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
nmg
Apr. 27th, 2004 12:14 pm (UTC)

New Scientist had something about this on its back page (The Last Word) a few years ago. The upshot was that the smell is due to Streptomyces bacteria - you can read the full answer online.

sbisson
Apr. 27th, 2004 12:18 pm (UTC)
AKICILJ!

Thanks!
flick
Apr. 27th, 2004 12:50 pm (UTC)
Don't know about that, but the word is Petrichor!
sbisson
Apr. 27th, 2004 01:04 pm (UTC)
You learn something new every day! [g]
muninnhuginn
Apr. 27th, 2004 02:11 pm (UTC)
Beaten to it!
Darn! I thought I could be the clever sod to provide tha all-important word! Good word and even better smel.
nmg
Apr. 28th, 2004 02:26 am (UTC)

If it weren't for the fact that petrichor is in the OED, I'd accuse you of making that word up.

Does this mean that the English language is now complete?

flick
Apr. 28th, 2004 02:31 am (UTC)
I must confess to having a similar thought when I heard the word, as well!
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )