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(New Scientist)   Scientists discover that humans smell in stereo to track down scents. Your dog already knows who dealt it   (newscientist.com) divider line 33
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3689 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Dec 2006 at 2:56 AM (7 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



33 Comments   (+0 »)
   

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2006-12-18 03:48:26 AM
Neat!
 
2006-12-18 03:49:14 AM
Just like a snake's forked tongue.
 
2006-12-18 03:49:35 AM
Great. Now we'll have guys in turtlenecks arguing about optimum nostril flare and wanting to know where they can get a Quad nasal system.
 
2006-12-18 03:55:30 AM
I doubt it's smelling in stereo. If that were the case, our nostrils would be set far apart, like our ears.

Before 9/11, security in our theme park where I worked would tell people to put out their cigarettes. After 9/11 they asked everyone else to do it, because security had other issues. I learned how to tell where in a crowd the smoke was coming from, usually when my back was turned and I was working.

The key, I decided, was wind direction and strength of the smell. I could nail a smoker from 100 paces. We played it like a game. Not that I really cared about smokers.

Yes, I think about these things when I'm bored.
 
2006-12-18 03:56:16 AM
So now when I blame the cat and my girlfriend calls me on it, there's no way to get away with it. Dang.
 
2006-12-18 03:57:35 AM
Yes, but only the aficianados of the world sport stereo cornholes. It not only enhances the experience, but makes it harder to track. Plebes. *sniff*
 
2006-12-18 03:59:35 AM
Paging brap; you have a call on the brown courtesy phone.
 
2006-12-18 04:00:44 AM
Now that I've RTFA:

Other animals, such as lobsters, do this by waving their sensor-studded antennae across a scent plume in order to study it, but some had thought that mammalian nostrils were too close together for this to work.

Not to mention you only breathe through one nostril most of the time.


Don't ask me how I know these things.
 
2006-12-18 04:24:25 AM
This is a new discovery?

I've known this for years

Cerebral Ballsy


I doubt it's smelling in stereo. If that were the case, our nostrils would be set far apart, like our ears.


our eyes arent much further apart yet we see in stereo. The fact that we have 2 nostrils angled slightly apart seems a good indication of duality of input...aka 'stereo'
 
2006-12-18 04:30:39 AM
Cerebral Ballsy
Don't ask me how I know these things.

Tell me how you know these things.
 
2006-12-18 04:31:12 AM
I hypothesize in stereo.
 
2006-12-18 04:32:02 AM
Larger separation yields better resolution, but even a small separation should offer some differentiation of direction. But I imagine that there are other biochemical considerations, which I have no desire to contemplate at 3:30 am.
 
2006-12-18 04:35:27 AM
Not to mention you only breathe through one nostril most of the time.

Only if you're prone to nasal blockage (boogers n snot)

actually thats how I've known about this since i was 12 or thereabouts. I used to experience uni-nostril breathing frequently because of sinus draining. I discovered that I could zero in on a smell very quickly when the allergy/sinus medicine worked. whereas before that i'd just know something smelled in a room but mot have any luck playing that fun game called "What's that Stench?"
 
2006-12-18 04:35:48 AM
couldn't the participants just move their heads left and right to find the smell?
 
2006-12-18 04:39:23 AM
Isn't this already common knowledge?

It's like discovering your ass with your hands and having an article in Nature published about it.
 
2006-12-18 05:08:15 AM
ugh. sewage backed up at work today and i can still smell it in stereo. zee nose goggles, ze do nothing!!!!
 
2006-12-18 05:13:55 AM
oh, and while we're on the subject, years ago when i was working at a movie theater there was this guy who smelled as rank as could be. we're talkin piss, vomit, pooness that had to be weeks old (actually smelled quite like the previously mentioned sewage..). we noticed he was theater hopping, but no one could figure out which movie he went into. i had seen him in one of the main halls *minutes* ago, wandering around, so i followed my nose right to him. i mean the trail was as clear as could be... everyone else felt stupid that they couldnt find him. yay nostrils! er. wait. stinky bad...
 
2006-12-18 05:54:34 AM
Wulfhardt
Cerebral Ballsy
Don't ask me how I know these things.

Tell me how you know these things.


I don't know how I know these things. I told you not to ask me how I know these things.
 
2006-12-18 06:27:31 AM
Cerebral Ballsy

How about I ask you about why I'm not supposed to ask you about how you know these things?
 
2006-12-18 07:02:25 AM
I fart in mono.
 
2006-12-18 07:36:53 AM
I fart in mono.

I'd farking well hope so. Else you've got a problem.
 
2006-12-18 07:44:50 AM
If I have to use both hands does that mean I masturbate in stereo?
 
2006-12-18 08:50:02 AM
AgentPothead

aaah the lonely threesome.
 
2006-12-18 09:05:46 AM
We have two nostrils, but doesn't it go to one 'hole' in the schnoz? Just asking

/but I'm not asking Cerebral balsy about his sniffer, cause I hear I'm not supposed too....
 
2006-12-18 09:39:05 AM
booger42: We have two nostrils, but doesn't it go to one 'hole' in the schnoz? Just asking

It does further back past where all the smelling happens, but up front, unless you have a perforated septum, it's two streams of air.
 
2006-12-18 09:41:44 AM
Of course my dog knows who delt it, it was the dog!
 
2006-12-18 10:01:27 AM
Subby almost owed me a new keyboard...
 
2006-12-18 10:05:39 AM
This picture just screams to be photoshopped:

www.newscientist.com
 
2006-12-18 10:35:28 AM
Lerxst2k It's like discovering your ass with your hands and having an article in Nature published about it.

FTW! I'm pretty sure I was like 12 when I first realized I had this 'awesome capability'. I was resting in a park with my eyes closed and smelled cigarette smoke and I -wait for it- knew without looking which way it was coming from !!!!!! OMGBBQ!!!!

frostymug

That picture is hilarious on its own. No photoshopping needed. If that's a girl, I want her number tho.
 
2006-12-18 10:37:42 AM
Not to mention you only breathe through one nostril most of the time.

More totally-made-up-and-wrong-crap makes it into the fark factfiles. Speak for yesself next time, Freaky McFreaknose.
 
2006-12-18 11:47:48 AM
img292.imageshack.us
No stereo for YOU!
 
2006-12-18 12:13:54 PM
Anustastesgood
Not to mention you only breathe through one nostril most of the time.

More totally-made-up-and-wrong-crap makes it into the fark factfiles. Speak for yesself next time, Freaky McFreaknose.


From the Pacific Science Center's Grossology Exhibit for kids (http://www.pacsci.org/grossology/grosstrivia.html):

Your nostrils take turns inhaling. You breathe through one nostril for three to four hours and then switch to the other one.

So apparently kids know this but you don't. Perhaps you should look it up before you slam my mystifying wisdom. Douchey McDoucheface.
 
2006-12-18 12:15:42 PM
Tiamat The reason why I don't know how I know these things is I hear it once and remember it, but apparently my awesome wisdom does not include footnotes. So if you ask me for source, then I actually have to do work.

See above post, for example.
 
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