How long does the skunk smell

Do skunks really stink that bad?

Skunks can indeed give off a bestial odor. In fact, 60 percent of Americans firmly believe that a skunk smells the worst smell in the world. And the Americans should ever know, because in some areas in the land of opportunity you can come across one of the small predators with the characteristic black and white patterned fur relatively often.

However, in order to save the skunks' honor, it must be emphasized that skunks do not normally stink, but only when they are defended. This has to do with the fact that skunks cannot run very quickly. Predators would have an easy time of it. And that is why skunks have a secret weapon: They can squirt a horrific smelling secretion at lightning speed from two well-hidden glands on their rear end on their opponent. Most attackers learn fairly quickly from such an odor-intensive encounter and prefer to keep their paws off skunks in the future.

According to those affected, the skunk's secretion smells like a mixture of sulfuric acid, garlic, burnt gum and vomit. A mixture that instantly causes nausea and nausea. Chemists took a closer look at the secretion and found that the foul-smelling substance is composed of over 150 different components. Incidentally, a load of “skunk spray” on the face can not only cause nausea in humans, but also lead to temporary damage to health, namely short-term blindness. If you get a full roar of skunk spray in your mouth and swallow it in a panic, you can even pass out.

If you encounter a skunk, however, you don't have to fear that you will be sprayed by it immediately. In the case of the skunk, the Colt does not sit loosely. He usually only uses his spray in an extreme emergency. And that in turn has something to do with profitability. A skunk needs several days for the stink fluid in the anal glands to regenerate. Therefore it tries to intimidate a possible opponent with various threatening gestures. It stomps its feet or bares its teeth. If none of this is of any use, the opponent is presented with his butt - as a last warning, so to speak - with his tail raised. Some species of skunk even do handstands for this threatening gesture. And only when none of these threatening gestures have borne fruit do the animals spray their secretion, usually aiming at the attacker's face. Strip skunks (the worst stinkers among skunks) can hit predators even six meters away.

Normally, skunks hardly ever use their spray against each other. But no exception without a rule! Skunk experts are pretty sure that male skunks also use their stink glands as a last resort in their fights with one another - for example, when fighting for the favor of a nice skunk lady. However, this behavior has never been observed.

In Israel, artificially produced skunk scent is used as a weapon by the police. In 2004 the research department of the Israeli police reconstructed the scent of skunk in the laboratory after a thorough analysis of the original substance. After the first successful tests, the new stink weapon, called “Boash” (skunk), was used against demonstrators for the first time in 2008 - with the aim of breaking up an unauthorized demonstration without having to resort to rubber bullets. At that time, the police sprayed the artificial skunk spray from simple backpack syringes. Today the mixture is used with the help of the water cannons of water cannons from a distance of up to 50 meters. According to eyewitness reports, the result of the spraying actions is extremely impressive and quite suitable for breaking up a demonstration in no time at all.

Dr. Mario Ludwig is a biologist and one of the most famous animal book authors in Germany. At this point he writes about phenomena in the animal world.