Seven Curious and Fascinating Facts About Your Senses

Scientists still cannot agree on how many senses there are. Furthermore, what we perceive through them is extremely difficult to put into words.
Seven Curious and Fascinating Facts About Your Senses

Last update: 17 August, 2021

The first curious fact about your senses is that they’re basically your contact with the world. In fact, they’re complex functions, associated with certain organs of your body that have a direct connection with your brain.

In reality, in terms of senses, as humans, we’re one of the worst endowed animals. Indeed, there are many species that surpass us in abilities of sight, hearing, smell, and touch. Nevertheless, even with our limitations, humans have what it takes to survive.

“There is nothing in the intelligence that did not first pass through the senses.”

-Aristotle-

What your senses grasp about the world exists only in your mind. However, it’s clear that there’s an external reality. Nevertheless, you can only capture what your senses allow from this reality. Furthermore, you sometimes might do it inaccurately. For example, can you define the color red? Let’s find out some more curious facts about the senses.

1. Limitation

Among the curious facts about the senses, it stands out its own limitation

Number one on our list is that that you don’t really perceive the world as it is. You perceive it in the way your faculties and their corresponding organs allow. As a matter of fact, there are many aspects of reality that you’ll never really experience.

For example, your eyes can’t pick up X-rays or ultraviolet rays. However, these elements do exist and can actually harm you. Nor are your ears capable of perceiving all sounds. For instance, you wouldn’t be able to hear humpback whales converse.

2. Your sense of sight

There are several curious facts about the senses that involve sight. Let’s start by saying that each eye, or rather each eyeball, weighs around 28 grams. They’re full of water.

Your eye has about 130 million photosensitive cells. They all fit in an area similar to that of a postage stamp. Your eyes perceive around 10 million colors and they blink between 10 and 24 times per minute. A person with an average lifespan will blink approximately 415 million times in their lifetime.

3. Your sense of smell

There are several curious facts regarding your sense of smell. There are about 10 million olfactory receptors in each nostril. However, only around 1,000 of them specialize in capturing bad odors.

Women have a more developed sense of smell than men. Furthermore, in childhood, it’s even more acute. As you know, if you have a cold, you can lose your sense of smell temporarily. However, some people never get it back.

4. Your sense of taste

You perceive flavors through your taste buds. These are on your tongue and form part of your palate and esophagus. You have between 8,000 and 10,000 of these papillae. However, your sense of taste can’t function if your sense of smell isn’t working.

Salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and spicy tastes are processed through nerves at the base of these papillae. There’s also another flavor: umami. This is taken up by receptors sensitive to amino acids. It’s fascinating to consider that you have two eyes, two nostrils, two ears, yet just one tongue. Could there be a reason for this?

5. Your sense of touch

It could be said that touch is the king of the senses. That’s because it involves the whole body. Its organ is the skin. You have around 16,000 receptors for heat, 150,000 for cold, 500,000 for pressure, and 4 million for pain.

The average adult skin has an area of 1.7 square meters and weighs 3.5 kilograms.

Some areas of your body are more sensitive than others. For example, your hands, lips, face, neck, tongue, fingers, and feet. In fact, your fingers are ultra-sensitive. They can detect the movement of an object that moves a mere one-thousandth of a millimeter. However, your least sensitive skin area is in the middle of your back.

Woman with white skin

6. Your sense of hearing

Your hearing is probably the most sensitive of all your senses. In fact, your ears can pick up sounds that are one ten-millionth of a second away. In addition, they can distinguish between 1,500 different tones. It’s also the last faculty to be lost before you die.

Your ears never rest. When you’re sleeping, your brain inhibits your ability to pick up sounds. However, if there’s a loud noise, you’re sure to wake up. There are many sounds that are irritating to humans. Among them are, the crying of a baby, the gagging of a person while vomiting, the friction of a knife against glass, and an electric drill.

7. Are there more senses?

Typically we speak of five senses. Nevertheless, you actually have at least four others, not including your sense of humor or common sense. The sixth would be your sense of movement. This allows you to perceive acceleration and maintains your balance.

There are also three more:

  • Proprioception. This sense allows you to identify the position of the different parts of your body. It also affects your balance and coordination.
  • Thermoception. It allows you to feel heat and cold. In animals, it helps them to work out the direction of the wind.
  • Nociception It allows you to perceive pain.

These are just some of the curious facts about your senses. These faculties and the organs that carry them are a marvel of evolution. As a matter of fact, they’re real-life machines for the capturing of reality.

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  • Beltrán, V. (2016). Los sentidos humanos «conservados u olvidados»? Revista de lexicografía, 22, 73-92.