Fact #4 - Answer

Wowzers! Drop whatever you are doing, find the nearest Korean person and do me a massive favour. Ask them if you can smell their armpits for me.

You are probably wondering why we know this. And the answer is simple. A curious scientist was in Korea and struggled to buy deodorant. Then the University of Bristol did the science experiments and found that only 0.006% of the Korean population has the ABCC11 gene, which is what makes your armpits smell like baked beans. The study also found that most of the East Asian population (China, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau) don’t have this gene. Koreans are the ones that have the lowest numbers.

Now it's time to sniff your own armpits. If you are of European origin, like me, then you’re at the smelly end of the gene pool. 98% of Europeans have the ABCC11 gene! If you’re wondering, I can confirm that definitely includes me.

So, the next time you go into a lift on a hot day, try to avoid Europeans and tag along with an East Asian instead.

More Interesting Gene Facts:

  • The actress Elizabeth Taylor has the FOXC2 gene, that means you grow two rows of eyelashes.
  • 40% of people are said to have the correct set of genes to tell if someone has eaten asparagus by smelling their pee.
  • If you hate the taste of cabbage and broccoli, then you could blame your genes. The vegetables contain a chemical that is either tasteless or very bitter, depending on a person’s genetic makeup.

Want to learn more about DNA?

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