What's the worst thing you've ever smelled?

Just like the title says- what’s the most foul odor you’ve ever had the misfortune to come across?

A gangrenous foot undergoing liquifaction while still attached to its living owner.

Gabriela? Pop by, tell us yours, and then we may as well close this thread. :wink:

That will teach you to go to the doctor right away next time. :smiley:

I bought some artificial fart liquid in a novelty store when I was young. You could open the vial and tell someone to take a whiff and at least half of them would duck their head and run or come close to throwing up. It was a good gag until I spilled the whole vial on my bed…

Roommate had some kind of giant infected cyst under the armpit that burst, gushing an insane amount of this white-pus-plus-black-stuff-hey-doesn’t-that-look-like-those-little-two-flavor-pudding-snacks gunk all over my pillow. Smelled awful, but what was funny is while cleaning it up, we both kept giving in to temptation to take a good whiff of it… and then another… and then run gagging…and come back and take another sniff…

Burnt 90wt gear lube with Limited Slip additive. The old stuff with real whale oil.

Most organic stuff doesent bother me that much. my nose is shot anyway.

Opening an anaerobic incubation jar full of Clostridium difficile specimens. “Horse stable odor” is how they describe the smell in textbooks, but I’d say it’s more like “horseshit rammed up your nose, plus a little bit of puke for good measure”.

Microbiology has such lovely smells.

good evening friends,

for a little over a year, i worked as the tongue saw operator in a slaughter house. my department was located right next to the rendering department where the inedible portions were ground up and cooked into a sludge that was pumped into tank trucks.

the decomposing bodies of children. No, really - I’m not just making a nasty joke, although it’s a long story.

The actual smell (would it be classified as an ester?) stays in your sinuses a long time, and then the smell memory stays there for weeks.

When my horse had melanoma, the tumor was sort of rotting and growing at the same time. it smelled incredibly horrible. The necrotic tissue attarcted flies, of course, and after a while my vet suggested I just let the maggots be, since they would only eat the dead tissue. Bloody, maggoty, necrotic tissue coming out my horse’s backside.

For those that wondered why I let her go on with that, she didn’t seem to be in pain, and I was trying to keep her alive long enough to deliver her foal. In the end, I lost them both two weeks before I was planning to have her delivered by Cesaerean.


Necrotic tissue is one of those things that you get “used to” I think. I’ve necropsied animals that have been laying in the sun for a while and although others have had to run away, I haven’t been bothered. Big snakes that are constipated for a while, then suddenly let loose is a horrid odor. I did a surgery on an ostrich with a proventricular impaction. I removed enough sopping, fermented, semi-digested hay/etc to fill a garbage can and that odor almost dropped me. The odor even permeated my surgical gloves and would not leave my hands for days. :frowning:

I think the worst smells are the ones you are not prepared for, very bad ones are tolerated, but one feels a need to escape from unexpected ones.

One of the worst was the sulphuric rotten egg smell from a volcano crater I once did climb in the old country, The smell was made made worse by the fact that our expedition had to eat lunch there.
Never mind that… I have to tell about an ad for a Monty python and the holy Grail’s video game, I think I remember seeing it on wired Magazine, it was a black page with a small picture of the taunting French soldier saying: “I fart in your general direction!” And there was a suspiciously looking gray strip under the picture…

But there was no message saying what to do with that, it actually looked like the “scratch here to uncover the message” thingies. Got a coin and scratched, but nothing was uncovered, then I thought, bloody bastards! it must be a scratch an sniff strip! I bet it must smell revolting! But then I thought: “Are you sure?” “You think they would be so evil to do that to the readers?”

“It could be a joke and there is no smell or something completely different to mess with your mind”…


“Damn, I must know!”…

Got nose close to the strip. :sniff:

:eek: Euuuwwwaaarrrrggg!! :smack:

Now I know why King Arthur said RUN AWAY!!!
The ferocity of the French taunting took me by surprise!

The gut of summer-ripened deceased persons when brought to pathology for a post-mortem exam.

Ditto. The leg below the knee was mostly black and lumpy. The x-rays showed that, below the proximal tib/fib, there really wasn’t much definition between former flesh and what was once bone.

Dead guy who drank himself to death in a hot tub and wasn’t found for four days. During the summer.
Beyond nasty.

I used to work at a pet cemetery when I was in high school.

The “coffins” were basically plastic structures, sealed with a black rubbery gasket. Worked pretty well, but that’s only if you bury them and never think about them again.

So, one hot July day, a woman wanted her dog moved to a different grave site. Since we had to dig it up by hand, and we didn’t know exactly how far down it was, it was inevitable. A pick or shovel pierced the plastic top of the “coffin”, and the liquified remains of rover released a smell that to this day I can’t forget.

Awful. (where’s the pukey smilie when you need one?)

A rendering truck was involved in an accident and dumped part of it’s load in the middle of the freeway. On a 90 degree day.

Sulphur doesn’t bother me at all because I grew up in an area where sulphur water wells and paper mills were common. It’s funny how you get used to things.

My worst smell experience: My cat came in one day and I noticed his head looked weirdly lumpy. So I gently poked it and opened up this huge pus-filled abcess. (the cat was fine after a trip to the vet but that sure was a nasty smell)

The worst thing I’ve smelled…(only slightly above the stench of diarrhea ripe with tapeworms). Was a rabbit with a rotting, festering bottom. Week old urine and feces caked on top of rotting, necrotic tissue crawling with hundreds and hundreds of maggots. And the poor rabbit was still alive. :frowning:

Hey, I’ve smelled that! Lymphedema that got so bad it became gangrenous from the knee down , person refused to have the leg taken off. When we had her in the hospital, it had progressed to the point of the pt being septic. She was told the leg had to come off or she was going to die. I imagine she has by now. She also had massive ulcers on the other leg, and a huge decubitus the you could have put your fist through (both actually) all the way to the bone. That was a fun dressing change to do (NOT!).

Rotting dead skunk on the road, in the sun, on a hot day isn’t too pleasant either.