Museum of Science and Industry


It’s spring! Time to open the windows and see daffodils blooming and trees starting to blossom and bud, hear birds chirp, smell the dead fish in the air. Wait, what? Yeah, have you smelled that weird stink outside in the past week or two? Well, you have the lovely Bradford Pear tree to thank for it!

The Bradford Pear (or more generally, the Callery Pear) is a very pretty tree that flowers early in spring, even before their leaves emerge. In the fall, they produce plenty of colorful, long-lasting foliage. They are great to look at, but not so nice to sniff. The flowers are often described as smelling like rotting fish, dirty gym socks, or even some parts of the human body. Fortunately, the odor doesn’t last too long, and we can soon welcome the more wonderful scents of the season.

Image: The State Media Company

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  • Extended hours through Sept. 1:
    Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.*
    * Wednesday, July 23: closing at 4 p.m.
    Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas
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Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
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