The Nose: One Minute Anatomy

The Nose: One Minute Anatomy

I have a terrible sense of smell. My wife has an excellent sense of smell. My daughter seems to have inherited my sense of smell while my son lucked out with my wife’s.

Oddly, I am a pretty decent cook, though I don’t think my sense of taste is all that good either. But life is full of strange and wondrous truths.

But the nose does so much more than smell. So I made a list.

Here are some facts about breathing and the amazing human nose. 

  • We take about 12 to 20 breaths a minute or 23,000 breaths a day. 
  • One nostril dominates for two hours or so before switching, which means you can breathe better through one than the other.  If you check right now, you can probably feel it. 
  • A sneeze travels at 35 to 40 miles an hour. Conventional wisdom has always said that a sneeze travels about a hundred miles an hour but MythBusters checked and found that it’s 35 to 40 miles an hour. 
  • Mucus travels about 15 feet. 
  • 70% of waste is eliminated through your lungs when exhaling. This is compared to 30%, which is excreted in urine, feces, sweat, or the skin making efficient breathing all the more important.
  • In some ways our smell is better than our canine friends (Smithsonian Magazine 5/17).
  • Mouths are for eating, chewing and talking noses are for breathing.
  • The nose provides air for respiration and facilitates the sense of smell
  • The nose conditions the air by filtering, warming, and moistening it.
  • The nose cleans itself of dirt and debris trapped while you are inhaling.
  • Our proboscis is an outward extension of the nasal cavity which is internal. Our nose is external so it can warm the air when we inhale.

The amazing human nose blows me away…

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