The Weird Thing That Happens When You Smell Sweat

Happiness has been linked to all sorts of weird factors, like the weather, or how many choices you made today, but I think science has finally given us the weirdest of them all. According to recent research, the smell of happy people's sweat could make you happy too. To me, this indicates two things: Happiness really is infectious, and scientific research can get incredibly strange sometimes.

Previous research has shown that chemicals emitted by the human body, a.k.a. "chemosignals," can transmit negative emotions to whoever comes in contact with them. According to Time, researchers in the Netherlands decided to see if positive emotions could be transferred in the same manner. To test the hypothesis, they rounded up 36 male volunteers and asked them to watch scary, happy, or neutral movies. Here's the part that makes me grateful I'm not a psychology grad student: all the while, men wore underarm pads to collect their sweat. Later, 36 women were asked to sniff one of the sweat samples (ew) as a researcher recorded their facial expressions. These expressions were then compared to each other based on which group the man who produced their sweat sample belonged to.

I told you science is weird.

According to the results, women who smelled the sweat from men who watched happy videos smiled more than those who took a whiff of the sweat from the neutral group. In the abstract, researchers wrote that "exposure to [happy] body odor... induced a facial expression and perceptual-processing style indicative of happiness in the receivers of those signals." In other words, sniffing the sweat of someone in a good mood will put you in a good mood as well.

TL;DR: Happy people sweat will turn you into a sweaty, happy person too. The opposite is also true, unfortunately; pheromones are weird. Ain't the human body just grand?

Images: Giphy (2)