Suspenseful Gases

This just in—science meets Smell-o-vision!

This is Sandra Tsing Loh with the Loh Down on Science saying:

Humans expel all types of gases. Many are classified as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These gases are expelled by breathing, or even through your skin. But can the VOCs you emit, speak for you?

Enter Jonathan Williams and colleagues from Max Planck Institute for Chemistry. They wondered if watching different movie scenes could affect the VOCs people emit.

To find out, researchers measured over eight hundred VOCs released by almost ten thousand moviegoers. The sampled air was collected during 16 different films. Including The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Carrie, Buddy, and The Hobbit.

The results? Different VOCs were detected during different movie scenes. Most notable were suspenseful and funny scenes, which yielded very different compounds.

So no need to ask your friends, “Hey, how was that movie?” Now you can just measure their gases!