If an individual expelled their intestinal gas in an enclosed space, that smell would seemingly fade away. Why is this so? I would think of 3 possible explanations:

  1. The gases dilute in the air. If that space were tightly enclosed and sufficiently small, that smell would persist.
  2. The odorous gases decompose upon contact with air or by exposure to light.
  3. The odor does not fade away but the sense of smell adapts to the constant concentration. If another individual sampled that specimen later, they would experience the original intensity.
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why just flatulence? :)) Likely 1 and 3, but it would be the case for other gases as well. And certainly there are odorous compounds that might decompose as well. $\endgroup$
    – Alchimista
    Oct 7, 2019 at 14:07
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ At least for compounds like H2S, the odor goes away as molecules bind to the sensor sites (not an adaption per se, mind you). $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Oct 7, 2019 at 20:32


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