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Nov 7, 2018

Topic - Do Skunks Hate Their Spray?

You know how we get accustomed to those stinky diapers?  Have you watched yourself pick pasta out of boiling water and it doesn’t hurt that much?  Your sensory system has trained itself to be less sensitive to these sensations.  Skunks were studied to determine if their spray bothers them.  Apparently, it’s only offensive when they’re sprayed directly in the face because the high concentration of liquid burns their eyes and nose.  Despite having sensitive noses, thiol, the sulfur compound in their spray, doesn’t seem to bother them.  Thiol is similar to the chemical added to natural gas and you know how that odor gets your attention.  Prolonged or repeated exposure to even the stinkiest of odors causes olfactory fatigue.  This means that the smell receptors in the nose don’t reset and the odor is no longer detected.  We can learn to tolerate just about anything, even stinky diapers or your teenager’s room.