Meet George Aldrich, NASA's staff sniffer

'World's Strangest': NASA's Staff Sniffer
'World's Strangest': NASA's Staff Sniffer

George Aldrich drives to work just like everyone else on the planet -- but unlike everyone else, George's job for the past forty years is "official sniffer" for NASA.

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George smells everything before it goes into space. Humans have up to 400 nasal receptors that can detect 10,000 different smells. George keeps his sense of smell in tune and plays games with odors to earn his living.

George's official job responsibility is that of toxicity odor testing for NASA's White Sands Test Facility. What makes George important to NASA is that he uses his sense of smell to protect the astronauts that go into space. The success of entire missions depends on NASA's number one "nasal-naut."

The consequences of foul smells going up into space can be disastrous. You see, smells on Earth dissipate because of the natural air flow that dilutes the odors -- so if somebody peels and onion, over time that smell will fade away as new air enters the room.

In space, however, there's no new air, and strange smells can last for years.

After all ... when you're floating above the Earth, you can't just open the window.

What's the wildest job you've ever heard of? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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