In the realm of sensory experiences, few things are as memorable as the sense of smell. It has the power to evoke nostalgia, stir appetites, and, in some cases, leave an indelible mark on our memories. We delved into a social media thread where users shared their stories of the absolute worst smells they’ve ever encountered, and the tales that emerged will make your nose twitch in sympathy and your stomach turn in horror.
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“I used to volunteer with my church by delivering food and other supplies to shut-ins once a week. I developed a decent relationship with one of them, and she left me a key since she had mobility issues.
You will never forget the smell of a human body that’s been [rotting] there for a few summer days.”
“Had a coworker that walked 8 kilometers to work and back home every day because he didn’t drive. He always wore the same jacket, zipped up and buttoned around the neck.
He never showered, and 90F summers didn’t change that. He smoked, never changed his clothes, and was so incredibly dirty that his teeth looked like they started to mold.
He was a close talker. That was the worst smell I’ve ever smelled.”
“I worked on a shrimp boat. We had a trip where everything seemed to go wrong, so we offloaded, and we all raced off the boat and went to our homes. A week later (this was sometime during August when we get our hottest weather), we arrived at the boat and realized we didn’t clean inside the hatch after the offload.
There were a few hundred pounds of rotten shrimp stuck to the walls, ceiling, and floor of our fish hold. When we pulled the hatch cover, I immediately started throwing up all over. I swear I could see stink lines like in cartoons.”
“A rotting potato. It had rolled to the back of the cupboard and started to decay. I couldn’t quite pinpoint what the odor was or its location. Did a massive cleanup hoping to get rid of the smell, but somehow missed the source. A few days later, I saw it, reached in, and put my fingers through it, unleashing wafting torrents of putridness, leaving me gagging on my hands and knees. As the gelatinous mess, set free from the bonds of the potato skin, oozed forth, it seeped further into the wood of the cupboard but also down my arm.”
“Chemo s****. I’ve lived with people and pets undergoing chemo, and being around after they [defecated] would make me nauseous to the point of having to go outside for fresh air.
I would actually hallucinate the smell randomly during the day.”
“Gangrene. It will haunt you for 1000s of years.”
Gangrene is a serious medical condition that occurs when a part of the body, typically a limb or organ, loses its blood supply and begins to decay.
“One time I farted in a crowded elevator, and it smelled so bad it made a pregnant lady throw up.”
“When my brother was about 12, he took a dump that made me wretch for three days, and I can still smell it if I think about it today.”
“45-gallon drum filled with elk blood, it was in the sun. It was being used by scientists in a study of grizzly bears. It was bad.”
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