Amazing May 14: Smell—The Time Traveling Sense

Have you ever walked into a room and realized that someone you know has been there recently because a scent they wear has been left behind? Or walked into a home and had a good idea of what someone recently cooked?

Sight, hearing, taste, and touch all give us information about things that are present, but our sense of smell can also tell us things that are no longer there.

Perhaps, like I have, you have determined what someone in your family just ate by smell. I feel a bit like I have superhero powers when I do these things, but really we humans possess only a fraction of the olfactory ability of dogs and other animals.

You’ve probably seen a dog running around what looks like an empty lawn or patch of dirt sniffing like crazy. Because they can pick up on smells of different species and even individual animals, they are putting together whole stories with their noses.

photo © Dr Michel Royon / Wikimedia Commons

photo © Dr Michel Royon / Wikimedia Commons

Pay attention and see what you can notice with a few sniffs.

Thank you, noses.

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