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

Left the house for 4 weeks and thought it smart the throw the main breaker to avoid running up any excessive electricity bills. Upon returning we wondered what the bad smell was, my friend opened the fridge freezer and promptly lost his lunch as the stench of rotting breaded cod fillets and ex frozen broccoli filled the house. As it was my noble prize winning idea to throw the breaker, it was my job to clean up the barf, rotting fish and veggies.
Not a nice aroma

It was suggested to me that to help quit smoking, I put all my cigarette butts for a week into a jar. Then fill it with water and smell it when I wanted a cigarette. I couldn’t take it, threw the jar away, and still smoke.

The thought of that has me dry heaving. Burnt nasal hair after a failed ciggie lighting attempt is not too hot, and has the added problem of following one around.

Kebert, Qadgop IS the doctor! :wink: In fact, he’s the head physician at a maximum security prison.
Okay, worst stench? Rotting roadkill on a hot, humid summer day.

Meh. One of my cats came home with an abscess one day and I opened it up and pus flew up my nose and into my mouth and I didn’t even gag.

I was working in a hospital once and one of the nurses had prepared a barium meal(? not sure if this is what it was, it’s what my memory brings back) concoction from some poor patient to drink before x-rays. Being nosy (quite literally, I must be part dog, I always sniff things), I sniffed. Decades later the memory of that smell still makes me feel sick.

Although rotting kangaroo in the middle of summer has a certain pungency all of its own. I don’t know why kangaroos smell so peculiarly awful, but they do.

I got some of that from a spray can on my fingers once, and I wasn’t where I could get to a sink and wash my hands immediately (I was in a mall, in the Spencer’s store). Oh, it was just ghastly, that smell. But the worst part was just as sabatobello relates in his post: you can’t just leave it alone. Every few seconds, I’d sniff my fingers, I guess to see if they really stank as bad as I’d thought (they did)!

I was very relieved to find the ladies room so I could wash, before I made myself puke!

Would you be referring to Luling? It’s must be at least 30 years since I passed through that area, but I remember that rank odor even today!

'Course, I live directly across the highway from an Alabama paper mill now, so it might not seem so bad now! :wink:

Getting an ileostomy has really increased my bad smell tolerance (the variation alone is astrounding), but nothing I’ve smelt from that source comes close to topping the time my buddy vomited on a fire.

Burning puke. Oooh yeah, baby.

Please ignore the superfluous “'s” in the second sentence. Preview may be my friend, but it only helps if you acutally spot the errors while using it!

A dead whale. Or rather a bit of a dead whale. It washed up on the beach in front of our junior high school, and of course we all had to go and have a look at it! The day it washed up it was still stormy, so though the chunk was rather ripe (it was about the size of four cars roped together) it wasn’t too awful - we all went right up to it and had a good look.

It had washed up in our shallow harbour so could not really be towed back out to sea, and there were a bunch of army people on excercise on one of the uninhabited islands. So… They were invited to blow it up.

We were all allowed to watch from one of the upper classrooms. It was absolutely great! Bits of whale everywhere! But that day it was an onshore breeze, right into the windows of our classrooms. UUUUURP.

And another time we went in the summer to an uninhabited island for a barbecue. As the parents were setting up we decided to go for a walk. We found a dead porpoise washed up on the beach, high up and above the strand line, all dry. It was basically a skeleton with the hide stretched from bone to bone. Again we went right up to it and poked it with sticks etc. It did smell sweet and a bit icky but not too bad. Then we got tired of looking at it and walked on past it - downwind. Even three paces past it - UUUUURP. We abandoned the barbecue as the smell was in our hair, clothes, everything. It was so thick you could taste it.

I don’t like dead whales.

I was hanging out on the beach in high school and some kid unearthed the remnants of a clam bake that someone had buried right there on the beach. Evidently, the folks who had the clambake threw everything into the big clam pot, clamped the lid on and buried the thing in the sand. When the kid dug it up, it ruptured and spilled all this dark-colored goo all over.

It was so stinky it literally made my eyes tear. You couldn’t even get close to it. I’m not sure how they cleaned it up.

Aww. You say the nicest things. You know that?

Nothing smells bad.
Let’s let the people who still have noses have their say.

The smell that wafted over New Jersey on September 12 & 13, 2001. Mostly from the thought of what it was and where it was coming from.

In case you’re wondering, it smelled like barbecue. And I’m a vegetarian.

For me, it’s a three way tie between the following:

– The smell wafting from the Pentagon September 11-13, which varied between burning avgas, burning wood and burning people;

–The opening of a 400-person mass grave that i had to attend as a human rights officer;

– The backwash on the beaches of eastern Sri Lanka from the December 26 tsunami. Rotting sea vegetation, plant and animal matter and human remains.

I can’t choose between these.

  1. Somebody with a foot fungus with the foot rotting away.
  2. A bunch of rotten deer carcases.
  3. A dead mouse in winter in the ceiling in the furnance closet. I couldn’t use the furnace without the smell saturating the whole house. It’s on the list because of the time period.
    4.To get away from rotting stuff. An experiment in advanced chemistry that was banned by the principal, because everybody in the High School stunk afterwards. I couldn’t get the smell off for half a week.

Jeez, most of these are related to really icky situations. :frowning:

As for myself, the worst thing I’ve ever smelled wasn’t associated with death or disease at all; it was a couple mouthfuls of dirt processed through a one-year-old’s digestive system. Seventeen years later, we still talk about it. Whooooooo–eee. :eek:

Yes questions like these are always extreme on this board. Too many experienced (old) people on this board. Too many professionals (experienced (old)) people on this board. We have way to much life experience (we’re old) to not post some real good stories. :smiley:

My appologies to anybody here that doesn’t lump into the above. Good for you. :cool:

Many years ago a friend of mine started puking and shitting blood. Turns out he had an ulcer eat into a large blood vessel in his stomach. They gave it a few days to heal itself, and when it didn’t, they performed surgery and removed part of his stomach.

He still had a little bleeding going on but didn’t have anything to eat or drink for about a week, so what little blood was still in his system stayed in his bowels during that time.

After a week or so, he finally felt the urge to move his bowels, and I helped him in and out of the bathroom.

The smell of blood that has gone through the digestive cycle and sat in the bowels for a few days is truely a disgusting thing. It is the foulest thing I have ever had the misfortune to inhale. It is not an odor that dissapates well, and it was several hours before I could enter the room again. That was thirty years ago and the thought still makes me feel ill.

Last summer, a few days before a heat wave, driving up I-81, I was pretty sure I’d hit a BlueJay with the van. Hubby assures me that I hadn’t, and I didn’t hear or feel the telltale “thunk” of dead bird. Upon arriving home, checked the front end of the van, no bird bits. OK then…

A few days later, I’m following a garbage truck on a realllly hot day. There was much stink. I’d turned the air conditioner on about 10 seconds before I got behind the truck. The stink got worse and worse. Turned off the air, opened the windows, that seemed better. Garbage truck turned off the road, I proceed home. Thinking that the source of the stink had gone away, I put the windows up and turned the AC back on. Big mistake. Big, horrible, wretched mistake.

I collected a urine sample from a very nice lady.
I could smell it when I turned the corner from the nurse’s station to head down to her room.
It was a murky pea-green color.