Which Is The World's Smelliest Fruit?

The durian fruit.
The durian fruit.
  • The smelliest fruit in the world smells like a rotten onion or sewage
  • Thailand is the largest exporter of durian fruits
  • Durian fruit is completely banned in public transportation system in Singapore
  • Despite the smell, the fruit is tasty and healthy

Fruits are known to have delightful smells that matches their sweet tastes and appearances. However, some fruits around the globe are stinky, with their smell unbearable to most of the people. Although there are so many smelly fruits, the smelliest of them all is the durian, a large round fruit found mainly in Southeast Asia. Also known as “horrible abomination” or “king of fruits,” durian is a large fruit that can grow up to 12 inches long and 6 inches in diameter. Even though this fruit has a strong stinky smell, it is a popular delicacy throughout Southeast Asia. Thailand is the largest producer and exporter of durian. 


Durian is a fruit of the tree species that belong to the genus Durio. Durian tree is a large tree that can grow to a height of 82-164 feet depending on the species. The tree has evergreen leaves that are at least 3.9 inches long. Durian trees flower and fruit ones or twice in a year, with the flowering and fruiting timing varying with the species and localities. A durian fruit matures three months after pollination. The large fruits often hung from branches. Durian fruit can weigh 2 to 7 pounds. The shape of the fruit ranges from oblong to round and the husk is brown to green, with spike-like or thorny covering. The flesh is either pale yellow or red depending on the variety. Durian somehow resembles but not related to the jackfruit.

The Stinky Smell

The stinking smell of the durian fruit has prompted varied reactions and views; either complete disgust or deep appreciation. No one can clearly describe the smell of the fruit. However, the strong smell permeates the outer shell of the fruit and can linger for long after the fruit has been removed. Some people compare the smell of a durian fruit to that of a rotting onion or even sewage. Other people have likened the smell to feces of a pig or decomposing animals. A college in Australia had to evacuate a library after a smell of a gas leak or dangerous chemical was reported only for the authorities to discover that the strange smell was of durian fruit.

Smelly But Tasty And Healthy

Although a durian fruit smells horribly bad, it is a common recipe in Southeast Asia. The fruit is extremely healthy and contains potassium, iron, and Vitamin C. It helps lower blood pressure, improves skin health, and adds muscle strength. When ripe, the fruit has a custardy texture and often used to add flavor to rice dishes or as a pizza topping. Durian fruit contains 23 grams of dietary fiber which is all a body’s daily nutritional requirement.

Other Interesting Facts About The Fruit

Durian fruit is banned in some public transport systems across Japan, Thailand, and Hong Kong. The fruit is banned across all public transportation systems in Singapore, with several signs indicating that the fruit is unwelcome.

Durian fruit is the official fruit of Singapore. It was the fruit that inspired the finishing of the Esplanada building located next to the Marina Bay. The building looks like a durian fruit that has been cut into half.


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