Uranus is a planet one would not want to smell. Diligent Gizmodo writer Ryan F. Mandelbaum confirmed it in a report published yesterday after speaking with Mark Hofstadter, a planetary scientist at NASA.

Scientists find it difficult to study the third largest planet, let alone go there to know what it actually smells like. However, they can draw speculations based on the prominent elements on the icy planet.

Uranus is mostly composed of water, ammonia ice and methane, but other compounds such as hydrogen sulfide and ammonia in the atmosphere are present as well.

These compounds can also be found on Earth, and for this reason, it’s possible to come up with a hypothesis on what the planet smells like.

What does Uranus smell like?

The question is actually harder to answer than it seems, due to the fact that it’s fairly impossible to sniff out Uranus. In fact, Hofstadter said one could die trying to smell the gaseous planet. “There’s probably not enough oxygen in these atmospheres to support us,” he said. The only way to get a whiff of Uranus’ scent is to bring samples of the atmosphere back to Earth, something NASA has already done with the Moon.

It is worth mentioning that the word "Uranus" when spoken in English is an instantaneous lightning rod for the comedy of almost any kind, which makes another one of Hofstadter's quotes so unusual: “I think the smelliest things are probably...

the hydrogen sulfide and the ammonia.”

It smells like farts

On its own, methane doesn’t have a scent, but if ammonia in the atmosphere and hydrogen sulfide form, things become unpleasant, at least to the nose. Hydrogen sulfide smells like rotten eggs, which explains why flatus smells bad. Meanwhile, it’s known to many that ammonia smells like cat urine, mainly.

Human urine has traces of ammonia too, especially if it’s too concentrated.

To reiterate, these are merely hypotheses, and no study has been done yet since going there and smelling its atmosphere is a mighty feat. Everything is based on the natural reaction of gasses in the Earth's atmosphere.

Nonetheless, it’s safe to say that at this point, Uranus doesn't only smell like farts – it reeks of pee, too.