The senses are “tools” that allow a person to interact with the outside world: to see, hear, feel aromas, tastes and touch. The information coming through them is sent to the brain in order to get a complete picture of the events taking place and respond with a specific reaction.
A lot of amazing facts are known about the sense organs, but they still remain a unique, not fully explored world, in which there is still room for new discoveries and observations.
Eyes and vision
Vision gives people about 80% of information about the world around them. Blind people develop other sense organs better, but most perceive information with their eyes in order to navigate in space and be aware of the events that are taking place. In addition, there are people who are color blind, with an innate or acquired inability to distinguish one or more colors. Statistics have recorded an amazing fact: among the world’s population, 8% of men and only 0.4% of women are color blind.
It is also known about vision that:
- A person is not able to sneeze without closing his eyes. This is a protective measure of the body, which avoids rupture of the eye capillaries.
- The eyes of most children are blue-gray at birth, and only by the age of 2 they acquire their permanent shade.
- About 1% of people with different iris colors live on the planet, and only 2% of people with green eyes.
- Blue-eyed people all over the planet have one common ancestor who lived for about 7000-10,000 years in the territory of modern Spain. After analyzing the found remains, scientists have established that they belong to a man who is the oldest blue-eyed man known to scientists, while the rest of the people of that time were brown-eyed. This unique feature is due to a mutation in the HERC2 gene, which also determines blue eye color in modern humans.
- An adult blinks every 8 seconds, closing his eyes for 1-3 seconds.
- The lacrimal glands are able to secrete tears only after the 2nd month of life.
- The eyes cannot freeze because they lack nerve endings.
- The cornea is the only place in the human body that does not receive oxygen.
- The eyes cannot be transplanted because if the optic nerve is separated from the brain, it will die immediately. But doctors have learned to successfully transplant corneas to humans.
- With a loss of vision at a conscious age, people continue to dream with pictures, while those who are blind from birth do not have dreams with pictures.
Ears and hearing
The ears are “responsible” for the adequate perception of sound information, which allows you to warn against dangers, determine the source of the sound or enjoy a beautiful song. The human ear is not only a sensory organ, but also an element of the vestibular apparatus. There are channels near the auricles, which are a kind of gyroscope: they help to keep balance and navigate in space.
In addition, other, no less surprising facts are known about the ears:
- Applying a shell to your ear allows you to hear the noise not of the sea, but of your own blood circulating through the veins.
- Full or partial hearing loss is possible at any age. Most often this is due to prolonged exposure to loud sounds, otitis media, viral and infectious diseases.
- After a heavy meal, hearing falls slightly.
- The ears, like the nose, are another part of the body that grows throughout life. But it is not the auditory ossicles themselves that grow, but the size of the earlobe changes.
- Hearing problems are more common among men than among women, as the stronger sex are more likely to go to work in places with a high level of noise pollution.
- Favorable volume of sounds for people – up to 50 decibels (noise level during a normal conversation). Sounds exceeding this indicator are related to noise load and negatively affect metabolic processes in the body and the functioning of the immune system in particular, which can manifest itself in a reduction in the production of vital antibodies, weakening of immunity to infectious diseases and tumor processes.
Nose and smell
The nose is the most “prominent” part of the face, which is one of the defining factors of beauty. It is not surprising that dissatisfaction with its shape or size often forces people to resort to rhinoplasty – changing the shape of the nose. This procedure ranks second in popularity in plastic surgery after breast augmentation.
In addition, the nose plays an important role in recognizing smells and tastes. To be convinced of this, it is enough to try your favorite dish with a tightly pinched nose: it will surely seem more bland or generally tasteless.
For some people, a well-developed sense of smell provides a comfortable existence, so there is a need to insure yourself against its sudden loss. For example, expert perfumers sometimes insure their nose, while food experts use additional insurance in case of loss of taste sensitivity.
The following amazing facts about this sense organ will tell you that the nose not only performs a number of vital functions, but also has a number of unusual features:
- The shape of the human nose is formed only by the age of 10, and it continues to grow throughout life.
- In a calm state, a person breathes “at a speed” of 2.4 km / h, and while sneezing, the speed of air ejection from the nasal passage reaches 160 km / h. The style of sneezing itself is an individual characteristic of each person, but it can sometimes be the same for family members.
- A person distinguishes up to 10,000 different smells, while women are considered to recognize smells better than men.
- 2% of the world’s population has no sense of smell. This disorder is called anosmia.
- A drooping tip of the nose (gravitational ptosis) is one of the signs of aging. The process is due to the weakening of the ligaments that hold the nasal cartilage, and a decrease in skin elasticity due to the breakdown of collagen with elastin in it.
- Favorite scents are commonly referred to as fresh cut grass, pastries, and coffee. The latter two are often used in stores as these scents encourage shopping.
- The nose contains about 12 million olfactory receptors. With age, their number decreases, so older people perceive fewer aromas. In this case, the expression “a scent like a dog” in relation to a person will not be entirely fair. In these animals, the number of receptors responsible for the sense of smell reaches 14 billion.
- The sense of smell is sometimes called the organ of memory, since smells can remind a person of even the most ancient events.
- The human nose does not smell certain life-threatening substances, such as natural gas. So that you can hear the leak, special compounds are added to the gas, providing it with a characteristic smell.
- Most people pick their noses with their index finger, and this bad habit has a scientific name – rhinotyllexomania.
Language and tastes
The main organ responsible for the sense of taste is the tongue. It is an important element of the digestive system, which takes part in the process of chewing food, mixing it and moving it down the throat. The tongue is covered with special papillae that transmit information in the form of nerve impulses to the brain to identify sour, sweet, salty or spicy foods. To determine them, the lingual surface must be wet, that is, moistened with saliva. If you put a food on a dry tongue, your brain won’t receive any signal about its taste.
Language is also an irreplaceable part of the speech apparatus, without which a person simply cannot speak normally. In addition, it is the most flexible and mobile muscle in the human body. It is fixed on only one side and can take various forms, but only a few people are able to roll their tongue into a “tube”. Moreover, in men this ability is observed much less often than in women.
Here are some more surprising facts about the tongue as one of the main organs responsible for the sense of taste:
- If you eat a few of the Magic Fruit (a plant native to West Africa) for the next few hours, all sour food will be perceived as sweet, and sweet – completely tasteless.
- Spicy foods do not irritate the taste buds, but the pain receptors that are connected to the nerves.
- The human tongue will feel sugar dissolved in water if the proportion is 1 in 200.
- The owner of the world’s longest language among women is Chanel Tapper (9.75 cm), among men – Stephen Taylor (9.8 cm).
- The taste buds on the tongue are refreshed every 7-10 days, so foods with the same flavors may have different sensations when tasted at 2-week intervals.
Skin and touch
If a person’s vision deteriorates, he turns to an ophthalmologist, hearing is impaired – to an otolaryngologist. But who to turn to when the ability to correctly perceive the world is disturbed? A therapist, dermatologist, neurologist or neurosurgeon can help with this problem. The nature of the disorders may vary, but there is no doctor who specializes exclusively in touch. For a long time, scientists paid little attention to this feeling and the skin responsible for it – the largest organ of the human body. Its area is on average about 1.5-2 m², and the average weight is 4 kg. It is impossible to weigh it accurately during life, but the approximate mass can be calculated using the formula: divide your own weight by 16.
The thickness of the skin differs in different parts of the body: the thinnest layer is on the eyelids and tympanic membrane (0.5 mm), and the thickest on the soles of the feet (0.5 cm). The skin is covered with a unique pattern of lines, triangles and rhombuses that form a kind of mesh. It is best seen on the soles and palms. The purpose of the micro-furrows in the form of fingerprints is still a mystery. Some scientists believe that they reduce the sensitivity of the fingers so that the brain can focus on more important tasks. Others, on the contrary, believe that the raised skin on the fingers enhances the tactile perception of the examined surface.
There are many more surprising facts about this largest sense organ:
- Skin color in direct proportion depends on the amount of melanin produced. People who do not have it at all are called albinos, which occurs in 1 in 110,000 cases.
- An adult’s skin is completely renewed within a month, while in newborns this process takes 72 hours.
- A burning sensation from pepper or a chill from mint is not the influence of taste, but of touch. These foods irritate the receptors responsible for the sensation of temperature.
- It is believed that women feel better with their hands than men. But this is due not so much to the sex as to the size of the hand. The number of nerve endings is approximately the same for everyone, but with a small hand, they are more densely located, which increases sensitivity.
- Round wounds take significantly longer to heal than other forms of wounds. This amazing fact was noticed by the ancient Greeks and often changed the shape of wounds for their faster healing.
- According to scientists, when a person’s face turns red from embarrassment or physical activity, the stomach mucosa also turns red.
The role of each of the senses is important not only individually, but also in interaction with the rest. Only their joint work allows you to fully enjoy the picture of the surrounding world and all its shades.