Sometimes you wake up, walk outside, take a big whiff, and immediately regret that you even know how to breathe at all. This is because the air smells rank.

When there's a stink in the air, you either know what it is or you don't. Sometimes it's because of a mill, skunks, or a spill of something, and other times, you have no idea what's going on.

Because certain towns in Maine have a specific stink, they've even had the bad luck of getting nicknames. If you know, you know.

Often, these smells are primarily because of paper mills. They put out an aroma that can knock you on your backside.

But why?

According to Dep Green Port, the smell of rotten eggs or sulfur is a "characteristic of many industrial processes, including the kraft pulp mill process used in the manufacture of paper."

It just happens to be a byproduct of the mills, a part of Maine's industry that has a major impact on the state still to this day. In fact, according to WGME, "the state's paper industry still brings in more than $2 billion a year in sales."

Last week my co-host Matt James and I went outside to take our station dog, Summit, for a walk, and we were hit by a big stench. It was so thick and strong that I almost thought my breakfast was going to come back for a second round. It happened to be a papermill a few towns over.

This is what gave me the idea to find out which towns in Maine are the smelliest, and we asked our audience to let us know their opinion of what those places might be.

The responses we got back included a pretty wide range of spots throughout Maine that project a stinky aroma. Some cities in fact have a bouquet of smells because of the dump, mills, and even low tide.

And look, it happens, every city/town has its quirks, and that's just one more reason we love Maine. Through the ups, downs, and everything in between, including the smells, it's all just a part of our great state, and we embrace them all no matter what. We wouldn't have it any other way.

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