Geek Trivia

The Ability To Smell What Is Genetically Determined?

Citrus Oils
Dog Fur
Asparagus Urine
To Visit Mount Doom In Real Life You Must Travel Where?
Bundles of asparagus
Ryan Freisling/Wikipedia

Answer: Asparagus Urine

If you’re one of the people who can smell the pungent and sulfuric odor of urine produced after a meal heavy with asparagus is eaten, you’ll likely be shocked to find out that you’re in the minority.

Although the majority of people in the world excrete extra sulfur-related compounds—primarily asparagusic acid, a sulfur compound found only in the asparagus plant—in their urine after consuming asparagus, only around 40 percent of the population has the specific olfactory genes that make them sensitive to the odor.

If you’re one of them, you’ve likely spent your entire life thinking that everyone thought their urine smells funny after indulging in a little grilled asparagus with dinner. Some people, it would seem then, can eat their asparagus blissfully unaware of the odor.