A nose by any other name could smell as well The human nose can distinguish an estimated trillion different scents. –smithsonianmag.com
You read it first in this week’s The Factory in Guide magazine.
Most people have a nose. In fact, life would be very difficult if you did not have one. Many of us may even complain that our noses are too big, or crooked, or…whatever. But after reading this, you may be oh, so happy for the gift of your nose!
So many things we take for granted would be difficult to near impossible without a nose. For instance, we would not be able to taste our food properly as our nose and sense of smell are a big part of working with our taste buds to help us figure out what we are eating. Our nose actually helps us to enjoy our food. Or, it can help us to know if we don’t like something or if something is too spicy.
Another thing we can do with our nose is smell flowers and pretty things like perfume or candles. However, it can also alert us to possible danger. If you start to smell smoke or melting plastic, etc., you may be alerted to a fire or an unsafe situation. For people who have allergies (and that’s most of us today), when our noses get stuffed up right away, we can tell that our bodies are reacting to an allergen.
Perhaps the main job our nose does for us is help us breathe and filter our air. In fact, when we get a cold and our nose gets stuffed up, we realize just how hard it is to breathe without it because then we have to have our mouths open all the time. Our mouths and throat then get really dry. It’s definitely much easier to sleep at night when you have your nose to breathe through! The nose also filters the air and dust particles and helps to keep air moist in our mouth and throat before it goes into our lungs.
Well, let’s go over what makes up our nose. First of all we have skin over our nose. The two holes that make our nose famous are called nostrils. These are what we breathe through. Also under the skin is cartilage which is a type of soft bone. It separates the nostrils and is called a septum. Up behind the septum are different cavities or spaces called sinuses. These help hold mucus. Mucus helps warm the air we breathe, and also can filter germs and particles that may get into our system. You may notice that your mucus changes color when you are sick. The color helps us know when we have an infection. There are also little hairs in our nose that hold moisture and help filter dust and dirt.
Our nose has special cells called olfactory sensory neurons. These react to different smells when they intercept tiny molecules in the air. There are a few million of these sensory neurons in our nose. Each of these neuron cells makes one of about 500 different types of odor receptor, enabling it to selectively capture a specific set of odor molecules. If we smell lilacs, for instance, tiny molecules from the lilacs have entered our nose and our olfactory sensory neurons have captured them and through our odor receptor cells will send a message to our brains classifying the smell as lilacs.
Something fun to try is close your eyes and hold your nose closed when you eat next and see how it may hamper the tasting of your food. Can you tell what you are eating just by feeling it with your tongue and taste buds? Or, you can do a different experiment. While holding your nose closed, see if you can guess the flavors of different ice cream as you taste them. Can you tell the difference between vanilla and chocolate?
Well, God knew we would need our nose and how important it would be for it to work together with other parts of our bodies. The next time you may be tempted to complain about your lovely nose, remember vanilla ice cream just would not smell or taste the same!
This reminds me of “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” Ps 139:14 NKJV
Scripture taken from the New King James Version, Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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