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20 Fun Facts About The Nose

Searching for some nose facts? Or are you just feeling a little nosey? It’s time to stop & smell the roses with these fun facts about the nose!

facts about the nose

Beak, schnoz, horn, sniffer, or whatever you call it, the nose is one of the most important parts of the human body. It filters and protects us from bad microbes and allergens so our lungs can function, and of course it is where we breathe from!

It’s funny how we almost take our nose for granted. We know it’s there, we may be self-conscious about its outward appearance, but do we really know how amazing it is? 

Well, we’re about to find out with these fun facts about the nose!

fun nose facts
How much do you know about the nose?

We’ll also take an in-depth look at the myths and mysteries surrounding the nose and debunk a lot of false beliefs. For example, does the nose keep growing as we age? 

And what happened to the nose of the Sphinx? And did you know that there are 14 different nose types?

But it’s not just the human nose we’re talking about. Get ready to encounter the most incredible noses in the animal kingdom! From the African elephant’s hunt for water, to the great white shark’s hunt for blood, to the African rat’s hunt for landmines.

The world of nose facts is totally limitless and we’re about to dive in on some of our favorites!

when does your nose grow the most
It’s time to learn all about the nose!

20 Fun Facts About The Nose

1. Babies breathe differently

Newborns have the ability to breathe through their nose and suckle at the same time. But did you know breathing through the nose and swallowing is impossible for adults? Give it a try – it’s impossible!

After we’re weaned off breast milk this incredible breathing pathway closes up. It’s such a shame as that would be a useful trick to have!

2. Your nose is protecting your lungs

You can thank your nose everyday for filtering pollution, allergens, and microbes from entering your lungs.

Cilia, the hair-like projections that line the nostrils are the real superheroes trapping all these irritants in the mucus produced by your nose. 

nose facts
This is officially the most painful thing to do on earth

3. What else can the nose do?

The nose is not done there! It also humidifies dry air and warms up cold air before it reaches the lungs. 

Think of the lungs as a rainforest, where humid and wet is the best. If your lungs are happy in their swampy environment it’s all thanks to the nose!

4. The human dictionary of scents

We have over 400 scent receptors in the nose. This allows us to perceive over 10,000 different scents – how cool is that!?

Our brain is also capable of linking scents with emotions and memories. We actually smell with the brain, the nose just collects the signal. Now that’s one of the neatest nose facts!

5. It’s all about the trunk!

Okay, so maybe you thought 10,000 different scents was impressive, but let’s consider the African elephant for a second. The strongest smeller in the animal kingdom, it has over 2,000 genes just associated with smell. 

That’s 5X a human’s ability meaning they can work out over 50,000 different scents. The African elephant can sniff out a water source up to 12 miles away. Useful when you’re in the desert.

are elephant trunks a nose
Elephants have an amazing sense of smell

6. Sense of smell diminishes with age

Stop and smell the roses while you still have your sense of smell! The average human loses up to 50% of their smelling ability by the age of 65. This could explain why senior citizens tend to enjoy bland food – they can’t taste it anyway!

7. The genetics of sneezing

Have you ever noticed that you and your family all sneeze the same? And when you encounter someone with a strange sounding sneeze it may cause you to giggle. 

Well, the way we sneeze is all about inherited genetics. The successive number of sneezes, the sound and the style are all part of a longstanding family tradition. We did not know that one!

8. My nose isn’t working!

We’ve all been hearing about a loss of smell as of late due to the symptoms of COVID-19. Anosmia is the scientific name for a loss of smell that also comes along with a loss of taste as the two senses are intertwined.

nose facts
Anosmia is the scientific name for a loss of smell

9. My nose is working!

Super-smellers are people who have a heightened sense of smell. Known as hyperosmia, many people with such lucrative noses have careers in the food development and aromatherapy industries as taste testers and scent testers. And if you’re wondering, a bigger nose doesn’t mean you can smell better!

10. Gross nose facts

Okay, the nose might be lovely on the outside, but we all know what goes on inside and it sure ain’t pretty. Our noses produce up to 1 quart of mucus everyday! 

The mucus contains white blood cells and enzymes that we swallow and are destroyed by the acid in our stomachs!

11. One long schnoz

Mehmet Ozyurek of Turkey holds the Guinness World Record for the longest nose. From bridge to tip it measures an astonishing 3.46 inches (8.79 cms)! 

About his nose, Ozyurek says: “I always had a feeling I was going to go places and be someone because of my nose.” That’s some serious nose pride right there!

worlds biggest nose
Check out the size of this nose!

12. Does the nose keep growing?

Despite popular belief, the nose stops growing between the ages of 15 and 19. However, as time goes on the elastin in the nose breaks down causing the nose to droop.

Your nose will get bigger and bigger as you get older, though technically, it’s not growing. This is exactly the same with your ears!

13. What type of nose do you have?

Dr. Abraham Tamir, an Israeli science professor, has completed a mass study of noses and categorized them into 14 different nose types.

Some of the 14 nose types include, the fleshy, the hawk, the aqualine, the snub and the celestial. We say, embrace your nose, whatever it looks like!

14. The perfect nose

Have you ever heard of Chinese facial readings? Neither did we, until we started researching these fun facts about the nose.

This fortune telling technique predicts a charmed life if the nose is the same length as the forehead with a width equal to that of the space between the eyes.

great white shark smelling
A great white shark can detect 1 drop of blood in 10 billion parts of water

15. The best underwater nose

A great white shark’s nose can detect a single drop of blood floating in 10 billion drops of water. How’s that for one of the scariest nose facts! 

The great white shark’s nose has developed and adapted over millions of years making it the apex predator of the sea.

16. What happened to the nose of the Sphinx?

The impressive noseless statue of an Egyptian pharaoh on the body of a lion is one of the ancient world’s most enduring mysteries. 

What happened to the Sphinx’s nose? There are two main theories. Either it was simply eroded over time from windy weather or it was vandalized for religious reasons.

17. The human nasal cycle

Did you know that we subconsciously switch what nostril we are breathing out of throughout the day?

In fact, the nostril we are using can signal if we are accessing the left or right side of our brain. The nostrils also switch in order not to dry out.

landmine rats
Did you know rats are used to sniff out landmines?

18. Landmine sniffing rats

This is one of the coolest nose facts out there! There are rats that are specifically trained to sniff out landmines with their powerful noses. 

Working mainly in Tanzania and Mozambique, the rats have sniffed out over 10,000 landmines since 2000, potentially saving the lives of thousands.

19. The ancient practice of nose-piercing

While it might be seen as a cool way to express your individuality today, nose piercing has been around for over 4,000 years!

It all began in the Middle East and then really took off in popularity in India in the 1500s. Nose piercing in India represents respect, tradition and beautification.

20. We love to pick our nose!

It may be gross to some people, but we are evolutionarily programmed to pick our noses! We can thank our great ape ancestors for this one! 

Picking is so prevalent in fact, that a whopping 91% of us do it at least sometimes. The act of picking is called rhinotillexomania.


Did we pick the best fun facts about the nose? Which one was your favorite?

If we missed any nose facts, tell us about it in the comments below and who ‘nose’, we might just add it to the list!

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