Weird, but True: Can you make sense of your senses?
As soon as you hear your alarm clock in the morning, your hand automatically reaches out to press the ‘off’ button. Slowly you open your eyes to look at the sunrise through your window. Suddenly, you catch a whiff of something sweet in the air! You sniff hard and you realise that it’s the smell of the warm breakfast that your mom is preparing. Your mind races to wonder what she must be preparing today? Is it the yummy aloo paratha, the delicious masala dosa, or your favourite pancakes! The thought of food almost makes your tummy growl as you start imagining the taste of each of these foods. Quickly you take off your warm blanket with your hands, wear your slippers and hurriedly dash into the kitchen.
Did you notice how actively you used your five senses unknowingly?
These five senses of hearing, smell, sight, taste, and touch are the primary means with which we gain new knowledge and piece together the total picture of our experiences.
Our senses help us to learn about the world around us. Let’s dig in for some surprising facts and some unknown trivia as we try to make sense of our senses!
- You can smell a pleasant scent better through your right nostril and a pungent odour through your left nostril. Try this out by smelling different scents like the smell of a mango, a lily flower or even a soap using one nostril at a time.
- It is possible to smell a scent in dreams. Now you know how you can almost taste your pizza slice in your dreams!
- Your tongue grows new taste buds about every two weeks. So thank your tongue for letting you appreciate the saltiness of french fries and the sweetness of ice cream.
- You might already know your taste buds map for ‘sweet’, ‘salt’, ‘bitter’, and ‘sour’. But a recent study debunked this with the fact that your entire tongue can sense all these taste more or less equally.
- Your ears don’t just allow you to hear but also helps you maintain your balance. The inner ear contains three small semicircular canals filled with fluids called ‘the ampullae’. Each time you move your head, the fluids in the canals slosh along too. When you spin too fast and suddenly stop, notice how the world is still spinning a little? That’s because the fluids in these semicircular canals are still in motion.
- Crickets, grasshoppers, katydids, and cicadas use a hearing organ called a tympanum. On crickets, katydids, and long-horned grasshoppers, the tympanum is located on their front legs.
- Human eyes can see about ten million different colours. In comparison, dogs, cats and most primates perceive just about 40,000 colours. Some tropical fish and birds sometimes have more complex colour vision systems than humans. The mantis shrimp, for instance, is a creature that lives in the deep seas and has one of the most complex colour vision systems in the animal kingdom.
- Dolphins sleep with one eye open. The right eye will be closed when the left half of the brain sleeps and vice versa. (Pretty smart or creepy?) This type of sleep is known as unihemispheric sleep. This allows dolphins to keep a watch for predators even when they are sleeping, quite literally like the proverb, ‘sleep with one eye open’!
- The skin is your body’s largest organ and contains more than 4 million sensory receptors.
- Grasshoppers have hairs all over the outside of their bodies to detect air movement. Similarly cats’ whiskers or vibrissae help them to move and identify objects in dark and tails of monkeys help them to balance and grasp objects.
That’s a pretty interesting list about the five senses, isn’t it?
Now, let’s play a small game. Using all the five senses, can you build a short story?
We would love to read your unique stories here in the comments below.
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Books are Tanaya Goswami’s first love and cheesecakes come a close second. Talking about movies, music, calligraphy, politics, and Elon Musk will get you listed under the friends’ section of her diary. Ever since moving on from her job as an English lecturer, she spends her time at BYJU’S crafting stories filled with emotion and sprinkled with sarcasm. Outside of work, she’s either learning something new (French, most recently!) or is curled up with a book and a cup of coffee. She firmly believes that discovering what you don’t know is the key to knowledge and is constantly working towards improving herself.
Drop in a line at email@example.com if you liked her stories, have something nice to say, or if you have compelling ideas to share!