Scent is probably our least valued sense, so you’ll be surprised you can smell these four things!
Here are 4 interesting things your nose tells you:
- Wake yourself up with smell. Since it’s the world’s most popular psychoactive drug, it’s safe to say that most of us enjoy caffeine. But according to one study, you may not actually need to drink it to get the benefits. By studying the effects of coffee aroma on rats, scientists found that coffee’s smell makes the brain release proteins that protect nerve cells from stress, which is exactly what coffee does to you when you drink it!
- Smell your way to having healthy kids. According to research, humans consistently choose their sexual partners based on whether or not their major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is different to their own. The MHC is made up of molecules in the body that fight foreign invaders, like germs and viruses. Choosing a mate with a different MHC will improve your offspring’s MHC, which means they’ll have a stronger immune system and be more resistant to disease. Women are most likely to be attracted to men who have a different MHC, and interestingly, it seems that the sense of smell is pretty much the only way to determine the compatibility. If your kids are very healthy, you probably followed your nose to find their dad!
- Your nose helps memory. You probably know that smells can trigger a flood of old memories – but you may not know that without a sense of smell, you may not have been able to commit those things to memory in the first place.
- Smell the fear! It might sound like a movie promo, but the ability to ‘smell fear’ is something we really did develop for defensive purposes. Apparently, not only can we learn to identify what fear smells like in other people, but we will naturally become afraid ourselves after smelling it. The
evolutionary concept behind this is that humans, like all social animals, are strongest when acting as a group. If one person is so stunned by panic that he can’t communicate his emotions, the scent of his terror (as well as his body language) will spread fear to the others in the group.
Adapted from: Listverse.com