I majored in Biology in college because it seemed to fall right in with my love of science and life in general. I often read articles in science magazines and pick up tidbits here and there about random scientific facts. Here are 7 amazing facts about your sense of smell you might be interested in. Maybe you can get a boring dinner conversation rolling by sharing some of your knowledge on a human’s sense of smell!
7. Women Have a Better Sense of Smell than Men
This was one that I wasn’t surprised to hear. I can recall many women in my family who have mentioned the presence of odors that none of the men could detect. However, I’m willing to bet that some of those mysterious smells were picked up by the guys as well, but they just didn’t want to admit it. They either didn’t admit to smelling anything odd or blamed it on the dog.
6. A Person’s Sense of Smell Fades as the Years Pass
I’ve noticed this fact first hand with my grandparents. I remember my grandmother commenting once that the roses in her yard didn’t have a strong scent like they used to. I thought they smelled exactly the same. I didn’t want to bring up the fact that my grandmother’s declining sense of smell might actually be the culprit.
5. Sense of Taste is Connected to Your Sense of Smell
80 percent of what you taste is due to how good your sense of smell is. When you have a cold or a stuffed up nose, have you ever noticed how nothing seems to taste good? This phenomenon is due to this little fact right here.
4. Even Sex is Associated with a Person’s Sense of Smell
A person’s body odor increases once puberty hits, which tend to be what is used to attract mates. Supposedly it’s more of a male thing. When a woman reaches puberty, she gives off a scent that draws guys to her. I always thought this had more to do with hygiene and a little bit of perfume! Apparently a guy’s sense of smell heightens when he reaches puberty as well, so he subconsciously picks up on a female’s new ‘scent’.
3. A Person’s Sense of Smell is Weakest First Thing in the Morning
I found this fact surprising, since I thought a person would be able to smell things much better as soon as he/she woke up. It’s a new day, you haven’t been inhaling random smells throughout the house and town, and so wouldn’t that give you a fresh slate to work with? I guess not.
2. The Nose Can Absorb up to 10,000 Smells at One Time
This intake of smells can come from an area no larger than a postage stamp too. I didn’t know that many scents could even fit in that small of an area, let alone be picked up by the human nose. I think that’s pretty amazing stuff!
1. Smells Are Linked to Memories
Have you ever picked up an aroma that made you remember a specific event from your childhood? If you have, then you’ve experienced this fact in action. There was even a study performed in Germany where people were put in a room scented with roses to play a game which involved matching cards. As the group slept, some individuals were given a whiff of roses and others weren’t. The next day when the same game was played and the cards were placed in the exact location as the day before, the test subjects who received the whiff of the roses in the night could remember where more of the matching cards were than the other test subjects could.
Top Photo Credit: Cristiano Betta