Most of us don’t need more than one whiff to identify that generally unpleasant, characteristic smell we call body odor. But it’s a surprisingly complex phenomenon, influenced by our genetic makeup, age, diet, and hygiene. So what is this odor, exactly? Where does it come from? And can we do anything about it?

Learn more about why bodies get stinky in this TED-Ed biology lesson by Mel Rosenberg: What causes body odor?

Watch more videos about smells and smelling. Then learn more about your body with these TED-Eds: The Science of Skin Color, The Benefits of a Good Night’s Sleep, You Are Your Microbes, How the food you eat affects your gut, What Really Causes Sunburns? and Why Do Some People Have Seasonal Allergies?

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