Love The Smell Of Fresh Cut Grass? We've Got Some Truly Horrifying News For You

Nature is weird.
owngarden via Getty Images

Spring is finally here. Brighter mornings, longer nights, birdsong, and the smell of freshly-cut grass is finally back.

Freshly-cut grass is one of the most popular smells in the UK and we can see why, it’s a beautiful, fresh smell! And, if you’re not a hay fever sufferer, it probably brings back lots of sweet memories of gardens and parks on sunny days.

But, did you know that the smell of freshly-cut grass is actually the grass… screaming!?

Plants Under Attack

So, here’s the science.

According to Science Illustrated, when grass is cut, it emits pheromones called “green leaf volatiles” (GLVs). This smell is appealing to us because it reminds us of food.

So, if you think about the smells when you chop vegetables, it’s a similar sensation! These are emitted by fruit a little later as they mature. Basically, we are genetically wired to love these scents.

Now for the “screaming.”

GLVs are a group of volatile organic compounds based on six carbon atoms. All green plants can release them and they’re released in larger quantities when they’re damaged or attacked. In short: the grass is letting nearby plants and animals know that there’s a predator (your lawnmower) nearby.

Interestingly, plants can also use GLVs to protect themselves against fungi and frost damage!

Grass, we’re so, so sorry.