Sunday, 23 March 2014

The Smell That Changed (Pre)History

The following post is part of a campaign sponsored by the mentioned company. I have written this post as a challenge for my skills of articulation and creativity and do not necessarily endorse all the information provided in it.
The following post is part of a campaign sponsored by the mentioned company. I have written this post as a challenge for my skills of articulation and creativity and do not necessarily endorse all the information provided in it.


They were human look-alikes, but much more strongly built than Homo sapiens- taller, heavier, stronger and mightier in many aspects.

They were Neanderthals

The Neanderthals 
Image courtesy source1  and source2
They ruled large parts of Europe and Asia. They hunted, ate, bred and lived in families. They had already started to socialized, make tools, cook food, and do thing better.

They started doing all the good things which were going to help them survive better as a species, like living in families, forming groups, hunting in groups, and harnessing nature’s powers like fire.

Neanderthals were far better than the Homo sapiens in every aspect. They had bigger bodies, bigger brains, better muscles, better height, better eyesight, a far, far better smelling power, and most importantly, a bigger brain. They were all set to leave the Homo sapiens far behind in the race of evolution. They were all set to be crowned as earth’s number one species who would rule over all other species, including Homo sapiens.

They did all good things accept one. They did not take bath.

Somehow, their genes did not make them feel like having bath. A Neanderthal’s typical day began with pooping, eating, running, screaming, hunting, fighting, lovemaking, sleeping, and sometimes singing and dancing too, but never included bathing. It’s a mystery why it was so, but so it was.

‘Bath’ was a four letter word in their society. Although it didn’t start with the letter ‘f’, yet it was a taboo.

The Neanderthal race flourishes and started spreading all over Europe and Asia. It seemed to be just a matter of time before they took over the world.
At the same time, a species similar to Neanderthals, ‘the Homo sapiens’ also developed over a small region in Africa. Their number was very small as compared to the Neanderthals.

The Neanderthals hunted, and hunted well. They preyed on every species found on earth and ate them. They not only hunted the deer and rabbits, but tigers, leopards, and the lions too. Their strong body was built to hunt. Their keen sense of smell was their asset. Neanderthals’ sense of smell was way better than any of the animals they hunted and that gave them strategic advantage in hunting. They could smell a tiger from hundreds of meters away before the tiger could smell them. The Neanderthals would pinpoint the location of their prey by its smell, gang up against it and pounce on it before it could react.

The extra-ordinarily powerful sense of smell made Neanderthals excellent hunters
Image courtesy source
On the other hand, no animal could prey on Neanderthals. Even if a tiger or a lion came within a few hundred meters of a Neanderthal, the Neanderthal would know by the tiger's scent, exactly where it was. He would either get away from the tiger or kill it before it pounced on him. The Neanderthals, and not the tigers, were the kings of the jungle. 

No wonder the Neanderthal race flourished, helped with the nature’s gifts bestowed on them, including their olfactory prowess.

However, nature’s ways are strange. With time, strange things happened in Neanderthals’ evolutionary process. And their habit of staying away from bathing played a vital role in this.

With time the earth’s climate became warmer. As the climate became warmer, the Neanderthals sweat glands became more active to help keep their bodies cool. But with this, came the foul smell. Their sweated bodies started to smell horrible. And since the Neanderthals did not bathe, their bodies used to emanate foul smell all the time.

And with this, two things happened-

First, the nature came forward to protect the Neanderthals from their own body stench. The nature has creative ways of doing her work. The stench from a Neanderthal’s body bothered not only him but his family and fellows too. The nature kicked-off an evolutionary process over the next few generations, weakening the Neanderthals’ sense of smell, to help them tolerate the smelly surroundings created by themselves. With time, the Olfactory bulbs located in the temporal lobes of their brains (part of brain which gives the sense of smelling), shrunk in size, and with this, shrunk their sense of smell. 

(A scientific evidence of this phenomenon has been recorded in the history here).

With time, the Neanderthals' sense of smell diminished
Image courtesy yoursacredcalling
Although the Neanderthals’ diminished sense of smell helped them to tolerate their and their fellows’ foul smell, yet it had some unwarranted consequences. 

The entire world was nothing but a jungle at that time. The Neanderthals’ keen sense of smell was their advantage in advantage in surviving in the jungle, and especially in hunting. The earth was full with predatory animals, ready to prey on anyone and everyone who couldn’t protect himself from them. Having lost their smelling prowess, they lost a natural advantage which helped them in hunting.

Secondly, the strong stench emanating from their bodies helped the predators find them easily. This made the matters worse. Now they were an easy prey for all other predatory animals. Wherever they went, their smell revealed their presence to the predatory animals. The tigers, lions, and even the bears or pack of wolves would attack and finish them.

Soon the Neanderthals’ numbers started to shrink. They were on the verge of extinction.

In nutshell, all this happened because the Neanderthals did not bathe and bore an awful smell. The nature’s evolutionary process had suppressed their sense of smell to help them cope with their own smell.

All this happened because they did not bathe.

On the other hand, a similar species called Homo sapiens had a strange ritual called Bathing. Homo sapiens went everyday to some source of water like a pond, or river, or a spring and take a dip into water. They played in water, rubbed their bodies, made strange gestures, sometimes sang too, and in general, looked happy doing this. The whole ritual was called ‘Bathing’ in their language.

In due course of time, the Homo sapiens started using some scrubs such as stones, tree barks, sea-shells which they rubbed on their skin while bathing.

The ritual of bathing was considered very important among Homo sapiens. They would miss on eating or lovemaking, but would never miss on the bathing. The elders in the tribe inculcated in the young ones, a deep sense of respect towards the ritual of bathing, from a very young age.

The Homo sapiens loved to bathe, and 
it was an important ritual for them      
Image courtesy fina

This strange habit of Homo sapiens bestowed them with unexpected advantages which helped them to survive better as a race. First, their clean bodies bore hardly any smell. This made very difficult for the predators to prey on them. Without any signature smell, no predator could sense their presence.

And secondly, bathing and lack of body smell resulted in further enhancement of sense of smell in Homo sapiens. Over time, Homo sapiens developed much stronger than their counterpart Neanderthals. This happened because of nature’s evolutionary process. Lack of smell from their own bodies encouraged the evolutionary process to enhance their sense of smell. The law of evolution works like this- if you need to see in the dark (like the nocturnal animals), the evolutionary process would make your eyes extremely sensitive to light, capable of seeing in the dark. In the same way, when there was no smell or very little smell, the evolutionary process tried to enhance the sense of smelling to be able to detect the little scents available around. In Homo sapiens, the size of Olfactory bulbs located in the temporal lobes of Homo sapiens’ brains (part of brain which gives the sense of smelling), increased in size, enhancing their sense of smell. The evolution happened over generations, but it did happen.

The evolutionary process enhanced the sense of smell in Homo sapiens Image courtesy wikipedia

Armed with the enhanced sense of smell, the Homo sapiens survived well in the jungle called ‘the earth’. 

And they survived well. Their clean bodies gave a nice natural odour which attracted males and females towards the opposite sex. The pleasant natural scent of bathed and cleaned skin signifying cleanliness and disease-free status, encouraged the males and females to come together physically, and indulge in an important biological process which was later called ‘copulating’ or ‘love making’. The Homo sapiens’ clean, pleasantly smelling bodies encouraged frequent lovemaking among them, which helped increase their population exponentially over the next few hundred years.

The Homo sapiens' clean, naturally scented bodies encouraged more lovemaking, leading to excellerated growth of population Image courtesy deviantart

Thus the Homo sapiens, gifted with the ritual of bathing, flourished; and flourished well. 

While in one part of world the Neanderthals, captive of their own habit of not bathing, were dying, being predated by other animals, then on another part of world the Homo sapiens started flourishing and spreading over newer and newer areas of earth.

Soon the Neanderthals became extinct, and the Homo sapiens took over the entire earth.
(A scientific evidence of this phenomenon has been recorded in the history here).

All this happened because the Homo sapiens bathed and the Neanderthals didn’t.

The Homo sapiens survived. while the Neanderthals became extincts     Image courtesy bbc

With the growth of civilization, the Homo sapiens, or the humans as they are called today, invented new means of bathing which ensured a hygienic, refreshing and pleasant experience. Invention of Racold water heater was one of them. With the advent of Racold water heaters, the ritual of bathing underwent a revolutionary change. Now the seasons like winter or the time of the day like morning, evening, night etc.  did not deter the humans from undergoing the all-important ritual of bathing. 

The beginning of Racold Age in the history of human civilization brought historical advancements in bathing rituals

The humans armed with Racold and their insuppressible desire to take bath,  are on an accelerated path of progress, poised to spread their species beyond the earth, on other planets, galaxies and may be all over the universe. And the time when all this is happening, is recorded as the ‘Racold Age’ in the history of human civilization.

Go to facebook page of Racold here
+  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +

Did you like reading this post? If yes, you have the option to express your like by voting here.

This post is written for 'Close Encounters of the Smelly Kind' contest organized by IndiBlogger in association with Racold

Pictures are symbolic, only for illustration. Their source is mentioned near the picture with a backlink.


  1. What a post dude. Really a remarkable twist and factual take. Kudos.

  2. Thanks Rio for your words of appreciation.