Whenever you catch the scent of a coin, a piece of iron or anything else metallica, it always seems to have pretty much the same smell. So what’s up with that? I’ve asked myself that a dozen times, but fortunately, so did Dietmar Glindemann of the University of Leipzig, Germany, and his co-workers. Their conclusion? It’s not the metal you’re smelling.

What they found is that the pelicular odour comes from chemical compounds from your skin (or whoever was touching the object) that are transformed instantly when they come in touch with the metal.

“When a shopkeeper hands you a coin,” says Glindemann, “you’re smelling his body odour.”

Well now… that’s definitely… something

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