Nose Facts


  • The nose has special cells which help us smell.

  • The technical term for sense of smell is ‘olfaction’.

  • Your nose can help detect dangerous chemicals in the air.

  • The human nose can smell many different odors but is far less sensitive than other animals such as dogs.

  • The human nose has 2 nostrils.

  • The 2 nostrils are divided by the nasal septum.

  • The nasal septum is made up mostly of cartilage, a tissue that is stiffer than muscle but more flexible than bone.

  • Found at the roof of the nose, the ethmoid bone separates the nasal cavity and brain.

  • The ethmoid bone is also one of the bones that make up the orbit of the human eye.

  • The nasal cavity is a large space found inside the head, above and behind the nose.

  • Air passing through the nasal cavity is warmed to match body temperature (or cooled if it is very hot).

  • Dust and other particles are removed in the nasal cavity by short hairs.

  • The floor of the nasal cavity is also the roof of the mouth.

  • ‘Anosmia’ is the inability to smell.

  • ‘Dysosmia’ is when things don’t smell as they should.

  • ‘Hyperosmia’ is having a very strong sense of smell.

  • On average, men have larger noses than women.

  • It is traditional for Maori people in New Zealand to press noses (hongi) as a greeting.

  • Plastic surgery involving the nose is called ‘rhinoplasty’.