10 Of The Worst Smells In The World

Animals, Lists, Nature, Other, Science, Weird

Are you aware that you can detect 10,000 different smells due to the 12 million olfactory receptor cells in the nose? Moreover, studies have proven that smell have the power to affect a person’s memory, emotions and mood, therefore, make a point of surrounding yourself with pleasant smells and you will enhance your chances of having a joyful life without forgetting any good experiences. However, you cannot help but come across some terrible smells in your daily activities, smells that cause you to become angry suddenly, and want to go in the opposite direction of where the odor is coming from. Here are 10 of the worst smells in the world.


Hoatzin, also known as the stinkbird, is one of the worst smelling birds in the world. It gives off very unpleasant smell because of how it digests the food. Hoatzin digests the food with the aid of foregut fermentation, where bacteria decomposes the food it has consumed in its fermentation chamber, a process common in ruminants.

Vieux Boulogne Cheese

In November 2004, Vieux Boulogne Cheese from northern France beat 14 other pungent cheeses to be named the smelliest cheese in the world. It smells close to rotten leaves, wet earth and mushrooms, a smell that is worse than a kind of cheese known as Epoisses de Bourgogne that is banned in France’s public spaces.

Century Egg

The Century Egg is an egg which has been preserved in a mixture of lime, salt, ash, rice and clay for some months. When the process of preservation is complete, the egg shell is removed to disclose a dark-green, pungent smelling yolk and dark-brown egg-white. The smell of the egg is described to be close to the smell of ammonia and sulphur; a rotten egg.

Amorphophallus Titanum

Popularly known as the Corpse Flower, Amorphophallus Titanum emits a strong unpleasant smell when it is blooming. The smell from the flower is identical to a rotting meat or decaying corpse, and the reason behind the unpleasant smell is to attract pollinators to help ensure the continuation of its species.


The Durian is a fruit that is indigenous to Malaysia, but is very common in South East Asia. While a large number of people living in South East Asia like this fruit, most individuals find it to have an awful smell. Some people have described the smell of Durian to resemble the smell of rotting onions, feces and turpentine mixed together with awful smelling gym socks. This fruit smells so bad because it emits 44 terrible smelling compounds such as methanethiol and ethanethiol.


Zorilla, a carnivorous mammal, has a closer relationship to the polecat of Eurasia, but looks like the North American skunk. The reason people should keep their distance when it comes to the mammal is the unpleasant strong smelling fluid that it ejects from the anal glands as a defense mechanism against the predators, a fluid that can also blind the predator temporarily.

Human Mouth

Inside your mouth lives millions of bacteria feeding off starches and sugars that cling to the teeth. Without proper dental cleanliness, bad breath, also known as halitosis, becomes a most ominous olfactory hazard and can cause shame and ostracism.

Stagnant Water

From puddles to ponds, microorganism-laden water takes on a bad smell which can be detected from a distance. These bodies of water are a breeding ground for insects and are very harmful to humans as well as animals.

Body Odor

Body odor, or bromhidrosis, is the smell of bacteria flourishing on your body. These bacteria multiply rapidly in the presence of sweat; however sweat itself is completely odorless. Bromhidrosis is associated with the pubic hair, genitals, armpits, skin, anus, feet and hair.

Hydnora Africana

Found in southern Africa, this fleshy flower looks just like female genitalia and smells like feces.