13 facts related to the human nose
Find out why you don’t sneeze in your sleep.
Nasal Congestion is a problem facing millions of people on any given night. Here are some drug-free ways to immediately relieve nighttime nasal congestion.
- The brain region for processing smell is up to 50% larger in women.¹
- Nasal mucous membrane color is an indicator of health. Pink indicates a healthy nasal mucous membrane, red signifies infection, and muted pink and gray can appear during nasal allergy season.²
- Smell is the only one of the five senses directly connected to the area of the brain where memories are formed, and emotions are processed.³
- Your nose and sinuses produce almost one liter of mucus a day (which you typically don’t notice and swallow.)4
- You’re not alone: 45% of men and 25% of women have a regular snoring habit.5
- A single sneeze makes 40,000 droplets, travels up to 20 miles per hour, and creates a 5’ spray radius.6,7
- You don’t sneeze in your sleep because the nerves that trigger sneezing are also sleeping.8
- Hungry? 80% of what you’re tasting is determined by what you’re smelling.9
- Your nose is lined with microscopic hair-like structures, called cilia. Cilia sweep mucus to the back of the nose every five to eight minutes.10
- Nasal cilia move up to 20 hours after death. Researchers believe this could measure time of death.10
- There are 14 basic nose shapes.11
- Mucus contains chemicals that keep you healthy.
- Humans have about 12 million olfactory (smell) receptor cells, while rabbits have 100 million and bloodhounds have four billion.12
- Oliveira-Pinto AV, Santos RM, Coutinho RA, Oliveira LM, Santos GB, et al. “Sexual Dimorphism in the Human Olfactory Bulb: Females Have More Neurons and Glial Cells than Males.” PLoS ONE 9(11). http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0111733. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- “What the Inside of Your Nose Reveals.” Health Encyclopedia. University of Rochester Medical Center. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?contenttypeid=1&contentid=160. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- “Memory and Plasticity in the Olfactory System: From Infancy to Adulthood.” The Neurobiology of Olfaction. Ed. Anna Menini. Boca Raton, FL: CRC/Taylor & Francis, 2010. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21882422. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- “5 Cool Things to Know About Your Nose.” Wake Forest Baptist Health. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, 29 May 2013. http://www.wakehealth.edu/News-Releases/2013/5_Cool_Things_to_Know_About_Your_Nose.htm. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- Maimon, N., & Hanley, P. “Does Snoring Intensity Correlate with the Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea?” J Clin Sleep Med: 6(5), 475-78. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2952752/. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- Bourouiba, Lydia, Eline Dehandschoewercker, and John W. M. Bush. “Violent Expiratory Events: On Coughing and Sneezing.” Journal of Fluid Mechanics 745 (2014): 537-63. http://math.mit.edu/~bush/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Sneezing-JFM.pdf. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- Tang, Julian W. et al. “Airflow Dynamics of Human Jets: Sneezing and Breathing – Potential Sources of Infectious Aerosols.” PLoS ONE (2013): E59970. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0059970. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- Does Your Heart Stop When You Sneeze?” Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress. Library of Congress, 24 May 2011. BNID 108804, Milo et al 2010. https://www.loc.gov/rr/scitech/mysteries/sneeze.html. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- “Inside of Nose Reveals Time of Death.” New Scientist. 3 Oct 2011: 19. https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21128324-000-inside-of-nose-reveals-time-of-death/. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- “Mucociliary Clearance.” The Asthma Center Education and Research Fund. 1 Jan. 2014. http://www.theasthmacenter.org/index.php/disease_information/sinusitis/sinus_mechanism/mucociliary_clearance/. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- Tamir, A. “Numerical Survey of the Different Shapes of the Human Nose.” Journal of Craniofacial Surgery: 1104-1107. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21586956. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
- “Brain Facts and Figures.” Eric H. Chudler, Ph.D., 1 Jan. 2014. https://faculty.washington.edu/chudler/facts.html. Retrieved June 20, 2018.