Obscure Organs – Part 2

In last month’s blog we started to consider marvelous human organs that are often overlooked. Consider, for example your nose. The nose is rarely looked upon as an object of beauty. While the eyes, cheeks, and lips are often discussed poetically, the nose is typically an irreverent target. Strangers will tell you to keep your nose out of their business. Work associates will exhort you to keep your nose to the grindstone. Cleaning it out publicly is considered vulgar.

But if we pause and consider the important functions the nose performs, we might give it a bit more respect. The nose provides a passage for respiration; moistens and warms the incoming air; filters and cleans the inspired air; acts as a resonating chamber for our speech; and houses the olfactory receptors (12 million in all).

The nose contains glands that secrete a watery fluid containing antibacterial enzymes. Each day these glands secrete about a quart of fluid. Dust particles are caught on the sticky sides of the nose and natural antibiotics kill invading microbes. Nostril hairs act as a filter to keep out small particles. Moreover, the curved nature of the nasal channel creates air turbulence, deflecting heavier particles against the sides where they are trapped. As a result of this design, few troublesome particles make it past the nose.

Think of the nose as a phenomenally-designed, self-cleansing air intake with built-in filtration. It even has the ability to violently reverse flow to spew out particles that get lodged in the intake–a sneeze. So, show a bit of respect to the created biological wonder we call a nose!

Posted on March 2, 2017 by dwoetzel.

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