The Science Behind Skunk Spray Stench

Kirstin Fawcett

Ever wonder why a skunk’s defensive spray smells so bad, and why one popular home remedy—tomato juice—never seems to get rid of its stench? In the video above, Anna Rothschild, creator and host of NOVA and PBS Digital Studios’ YouTube series Gross Science, explores the science behind the stinky musk.

To avoid getting squirted by Mephitis mephitis in the first place, Rothschild provides viewers with behavioral warning signs that a skunk’s about to spray. But if all fails, fear not: She also knows a homemade recipe that may help get rid of the ensuing odor.

[h/t Gross Science]

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