It has been a long held belief that, apart from the hypothetical Hawking radiation, black holes emit nothing. However, a new mathematical model from theoretical cosmological physicist Jan Anity, has shown that one other thing can escape the phenomenal gravitational pull of black holes: Smell.
"It stands to reason," said Professor Anity, "Every school child knows that not even light can escape a black hole. But late at night, when it's very dark, you don't need light to be able to smell a nasty smell."
Prof. Anity constructed a fiendishly complicated model of black holes starting at the premise that odour escapes their grip in order to work out exactly which odours escape.
"Using a molecular resonance model for odours," said Anity, "we have discovered that most odours are still absorbed into the black hole, leaving just the fishy odours lingering around outside the event horizon."
Armed with this knowledge, Anity has come to the conclusion that all black holes will smell of fish.
The high energy physicists at the Large Hadron Collidor plan on using this information to build a black hole detector in case any escape the compound. Electronic noses will be on the look out for fishy smells coming from the site, requiring all scientists with tuna sandwiches to log them on entry.
What other use this information could be put to, Anity is not sure.
"However, should humanity one day journey to a black hole," she said, "it may well be worthwhile taking some air freshener."