Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Humans can smell up to 1 trillion odours


Posted on Saturday, 22 March, 2014 | Comment icon 11 comments

Stopping to smell the roses. Image Credit: sxc.hu
Scientists have determined that the human nose is far more capable than previously believed.
The widely held belief that we can only distinguish up to 10,000 different smells has been blown out of the water in a new report this week that suggests the real number may be closer to 1 trillion.

To reach this figure, researchers conducted a series of experiments in which participants were asked to identify individual smells in a mixture of scents. By analyzing the cases in which participants were unable to distinguish between overlapping scents, the team was able to calculate the number of individual smells that a human nose was capable of detecting.

"My hope is that this helps to dispel the myth that humans have a bad sense of smell," said study co-author Andreas Keller.

Source: Nature.com | Comments (11)

Tags: Nose, Smell


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Sir Smoke aLot on 22 March, 2014, 15:01
U should just walk tru my neighbourhood and this numbers will change very fast, higher ofc by trillions. I am not sure what are some people cooking in their homes but even my dog runs away from some areas.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Mr. ET on 22 March, 2014, 18:51
Id have to say the worst smell ive ever come in contact with was a rotting deer that was stored in a freezer I hauled off for this old man. instant gag reflex Ill never forget that.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Duchess Gummybuns on 22 March, 2014, 20:00
And out of all of them, 1 million I'll never want to smell in my life again.
Comment icon #5 Posted by taniwha on 22 March, 2014, 21:43
Thats ridiculous, why stop at a trillion?
Comment icon #6 Posted by maximusnow on 23 March, 2014, 17:24
Please list all odours used in this experiment, alphabeticaly please. Maximus
Comment icon #7 Posted by PM3K on 24 March, 2014, 4:36
Please list all odours used in this experiment, alphabeticaly please. Maximus True but it's only suggested.
Comment icon #8 Posted by regeneratia on 25 March, 2014, 1:55
My skin has an odor when my blood sugar gets a little high. I am not diabetic. It does, however, run in the family. I can smell something on my arms, after a night's sleep, that tells me I need to cut down on the carbs for a couple of days. I cut down on the carbs and take chromium and magnesium immediately upon smelling that odor. The worst smell I have ever experienced has happened quite a few times. That smell is when people poop blood. When combined with liver failure, the smell is enough to make you faint.
Comment icon #9 Posted by :PsYKoTiC:BeHAvIoR: on 25 March, 2014, 11:56
I don't think any human being will be able to smell a trillion different odors in a lifetime anyway. I doubt I reached the initial ten thousand to begin with.
Comment icon #10 Posted by SkeptcByMindBelievrByHeart on 25 March, 2014, 14:33
how many different odours can a dog smell
Comment icon #11 Posted by lightly on 26 March, 2014, 19:41
My smellier half has produced some that were off the scale !


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5854979
264538
165095

 
New video reveals Huygens' harrowing descent
1-17-2017
NASA has released a new video recreating the Huygens probe's historic touchdown on Saturn's moon Titan.
French Polynesia signs 'floating city' deal
1-17-2017
The world's first ever floating city could soon begin construction off the French Polynesian coast.
Giant alligator goes for a stroll in Florida
1-17-2017
A huge alligator was filmed by tourists at the Circle B Bar Reserve in Polk County, Florida this week.
'Creature' photographed in garden at night
1-16-2017
A Reddit user has uploaded an image of what appears to be a strange figure running through a garden.
Featured book
 
By Toryn Chapman
Campbell Mackenzie is a successful lawyer with occasional feelings of déjà vu. There's just one problem, though - it's not déjà vu.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Can anger be good for you ?
Posted 1-17-2017 | 1 comment
A new study has suggested that (some) anger can be beneficial to your health.
 
Marshmallows in a vacuum
Posted 1-16-2017 | 2 comments
What happens to a pile of marshmallows when all the air is removed ?
 
Fighting fire with fire
Posted 1-15-2017 | 0 comments
Adam Savage learns whether it is possible to use fire (or the sound of fire) to put out fire.
 
Washing machine throwing
Posted 1-14-2017 | 8 comments
Two strongmen battle it out to see who can throw a washing machine the furthest.
 
The amazing natural world
Posted 1-13-2017 | 0 comments
A series of quality clips from some of the BBC's most successful wildlife programmes.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Phantom vehicle
1-6-2017 | Ramer, United States
 
True ghost stories
1-6-2017 | Southern California
 
Floating tiles
1-6-2017 | Chewelah, Washington
 
A haunting in Northern California
12-28-2016 | Northern California
 
Strange creature in South Africa
12-28-2016 | South Africa, Hoedspruit.
 
A 15-year-old predicted my future!
12-21-2016 | Katherine, Australia
 
The haunted pond
12-21-2016 | Essex, Ontario, Canada
 
The haunted hospital
12-28-2016 | New Plymouth, New Zealand
 
Loud crash in the night
12-17-2016 | Pennsylvania
 
Mysterious woman in a blue dress
12-17-2016 | Northern Ireland
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2017
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ