A Language of Smells: How Organisms Communicate Using Chemistry

Kirstin Fawcett
iStock / iStock

Just because plants, bacteria, and fungi don't talk doesn't mean they can't communicate. As the SciShow's Olivia Gordon explains, these organisms use a multi-purpose class of smelly chemical compounds called terpenes to communicate both within and across species. These molecules can be used as a warning signal, a mating call, a defense mechanism, or to attract pollinators, among other functions.

Get an overview of how terpenes work—and learn how humans are trying to unlock their full potential—by watching the video below.