Why death smells so deadly

SURPRISING STINK The distinctive smell of dead animals comes largely from molecules like cadaverine and putrescine that are made when proteins break down, but the decomposition of high-protein plants like duckweed (shown) can make a deathly smell too.

Tom Gill/Flickr

This article is only available to Science News subscribers.

Subscribers, enter your e-mail address to access our archives.

Not a subscriber?

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.

More Stories from Science News on Chemistry

From the Nature Index

Paid Content