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Taste and Smell Quizzes, Trivia and Puzzles
Taste and Smell Quizzes, Trivia

Taste and Smell Trivia

Taste and Smell Trivia Quizzes

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3 quizzes and 30 trivia questions.
  It Smells New   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Here are ten different nasally facts for you to sniff over. How many do you nose?
Average, 10 Qns, Creedy, Mar 16 15
Creedy gold member
650 plays
  Bitter, Sweet, Salty, and Sour: Senses of Taste   popular trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Amazingly, this is the first FT quiz exclusively on the sense of taste. See how much you know about the science behind one of our least understood senses.
Average, 10 Qns, BigTriviaDawg, Jul 05 22
BigTriviaDawg gold member
Jul 05 22
255 plays
  Nobody Knows the Nose   great trivia quiz  
Multiple Choice
 10 Qns
Ten facts on noses. So get your hooter in place and start sniffing. Have fun!
Average, 10 Qns, Creedy, Mar 23 21
Creedy gold member
Mar 23 21
907 plays

Taste and Smell Trivia Questions

1. What name is given to the cells of our brain responsible for detecting various smells?

From Quiz
It Smells New

Answer: Olfactory receptors

Olfactory receptors are located at the back of our nasal cavities, in small areas of tissue. There are approximately twelve million of these receptors, with each one sending their received scents in messages back to the brain. It's a little like a bucket chain really. Each neuron has infinitely small, hair like, attachments that absorb the external odour, and these attachments, known as cilia, then pass the smell message received on to their particular neuron. The tail of each neuron, known as the axon, then passes the message onto the brain itself for it to do its work of identifying and classifying the smell.

2. What is the name of the small area of cartilage that divides the two nostrils?

From Quiz It Smells New

Answer: Septum

Our nostrils are known more correctly as nares. They consist of fairly flexible cartilage, which is a substance that is denser than muscle, but less dense than bone. The function of these two chutes is to control the air temperature we breathe in, and to control the degree of moisture we breathe out. Otherwise we'd be snuffling all over everyone. Our nostrils are separated from one another by a section known as the septum. In the ideal human facial feature, this septum divides the nostrils equally on either side, but many people end up with one nostril larger or smaller than the other. If this is severe, it is known as a deviated septum. In some very extreme cases, if the septum is non-existent as a result of some misfortune, a person is left with one single large nasal opening instead.

3. What is the medical term for a nose fetish?

From Quiz Nobody Knows the Nose

Answer: Nasophilia

A fetish is the arousal by the sight of various external objects, or various parts of the body that are not considered to be within the "normal" range of intimacy. The general term for any fetish is paraphilia. Sigmund Freud, who made the first genuine attempts to understand the psychological workings of the human mind, believed, with nasophilia, that the nose represented a penis substitution.

4. What is the name of the specialized cells which have taste receptors allowing us to taste?

From Quiz Bitter, Sweet, Salty, and Sour: Senses of Taste

Answer: Gustatory cells

Gustatory cells contain the taste buds that are sensitive to several chemicals within the food we eat. Each gustatory cell is able to detect the presence and the intensity of all the basic tastes. There are specific chemicals in salty, sweet, bitter, and sour foods that stimulate the gustatory cell and once a threshold is reached the cell will transmit a signal to the brain that it detects the sensation.

5. What is the name given to the bone, located at the top of the nose, that separates the brain and the nasal cavity?

From Quiz It Smells New

Answer: Ethmoid

The nasal cavity in a human being is a relatively large area located behind the nose at the top of that noble feature. The ethmoid skull bone, also part of the eye sockets, acts as a division between this cavity and the brain. Made up of fifteen individual small and fragile bones, these are easily fractured. This can be dangerous if any of the resulting bone fragments penetrate through the ceiling of this area (called the cribiform plate), because it allows cerebral fluid to leak through. Far more dangerously, however, it can also allow bacteria to enter the central nervous system. The blood-brain barrier protects the brain brilliantly under normal circumstances, but this also, somewhat unfortunately, includes blocking almost all prescribed drugs from entering. As a result of this, any infections of the central nervous system, caused by a penetration of the cribiform plate, become very hard to tackle.

6. Which mechanism do taste cells use to detect if something is salty?

From Quiz Bitter, Sweet, Salty, and Sour: Senses of Taste

Answer: Ion channels

Ion channels detect salty sensations. The most common are sodium, potassium, and calcium. In particular, they use voltage gates which will get triggered if the salt ion concentration reaches a high enough level. This conversion of chemical to electrical energy stimulates the taste region of the brain. Salty is an important taste as we need these ions to keep the body's pH in balance and our nerves use ions to send signals.

7. In Greek and Roman times, what did having a large nose supposedly indicate about a person?

From Quiz Nobody Knows the Nose

Answer: A powerful, strong leader

Unless of course it belonged to a woman. Then it was, and is, considered unfortunate. Like it or not, the shape of one's snout can enhance or take away from our common perception of beauty. On a man, a large nose is acceptable, unless of course it gets caught in an elevator door. On a woman however, it is not listed on the plus side of what is perceived to be beautiful. Physiologically speaking, men's noses as a rule tend to be larger than women's noses. This is related to the amount of testesterone production during adolescence, so the ladies are at least lucky in this regard. Men produce twenty times as much as women. Not that that is any consolation for women endowed with large noses.

8. What name is given to the savoriness of food identified as the fifth taste sensation?

From Quiz Bitter, Sweet, Salty, and Sour: Senses of Taste

Answer: Umami

Japanese chemist, Kikunae Ikeda, first identified umami in 1908. The term "umami" translates as "pleasant savory taste". On a chemical level, the amino acid glutamate has receptors in the gustatory cells. In particular, free-floating glutamate is a strong trigger for the umami sensation. The umami flavor is associated with meat, cheese, and tomatoes. The umami flavor is very important as it signals to the body that protein is being ingested which is both an energy source and a building block for enzymes. The body responds by releasing enzymes in the stomach and intestines.

9. A bloodhound has four billion olfactory receptors in its nose. Surprisingly though, there is another larger creature with an even stronger sense of smell than this scent hound. Which one is it?

From Quiz It Smells New

Answer: Bear

According to the American Bear Association, that is. Remarkably so, a bear has a sense of smell seven times stronger than a bloodhound. Humans are way down on the list of scent identifiers. We have the ability to detect ten thousand scents though, so that's a pretty impressive figure all on its own. And who wants to be in a competition with a bear anyhow? If we won, it'd eat us.

10. Here is an even more depressing fact: Over time, the end of anyone's nose tends to do what?

From Quiz Nobody Knows the Nose

Answer: Grow downwards

How cruel of mother nature. The nose continues to take a downward trend the older one becomes. Not a nice uplifting perky tip, oh no, that would make old age marginally happier, but it well and truly heads south instead. This is because of a combination of the forces of gravity, and the breakdown of proteins, elastic and collagen in the skin. So if you have a Roman nose, and cannot afford plastic surgery, and if you live long enough, one day you'll be able to console yourself with the knowledge that you now look like an elephant.

11. What region of the brain first responds to a taste stimulation?

From Quiz Bitter, Sweet, Salty, and Sour: Senses of Taste

Answer: Gustatory cortex

The gustatory cortex is the region of the brain that first responds to the taste sensation. The location of the gustatory cortex is partly in the frontal lobe and partly in the insula lobe. The stimulation of this region causes the body to prepare to break down food or warn of potential danger. The intensity of the stimulation also can be detected based on the number of gustatory cell actively reporting a sensation.

12. What is the word that defines the inability to smell?

From Quiz It Smells New

Answer: Anosmia

How terrible not to be able to smell a red rose, or the ocean, or the irresistible scent of a freshly bathed baby. Being afflicted with the inability to smell can be temporary or permanent, depending on what event set it off. It could be as transient as a blocked nasal passage, or as severe as permanent damage to a temporal lobe in the brain. Other terms related to the sense of smell are dysosmia (when the sense of smell perception is distorted), hyposmia (decreased ability to recognise odours), and hyperosmia (increased sensitivity to smells). So finely tuned is the olfactory sense under normal conditions that the average human can detect any aroma from just four molecules of a substance. Some people with an increased ability to perceive different scents are able to earn their living with their noses, and insure them for high sums - winemakers, for example, and those who test perfumes.

13. The indigenous people of which country in the lower Pacific Ocean traditionally greeted people by rubbing noses?

From Quiz It Smells New

Answer: New Zealand

This practice is known as Hongi. It is a traditional form of greeting among the Maori people of New Zealand. The greeter's nose and the forehead are pressed up against the nose and forehead of the visitor. Today, it is used more in ceremonial activities than in every day practice. The rather lovely belief behind this tradition is that the breaths of both parties are exchanged during the hongi and the souls become intermingled, and, once this has taken place, the visitor then becomes part of the people of the land. Infinitely preferable to be greeted this way at one time than by the traditional haka. That was a war cry or challenge usually carried out before battle, and usually meant you were about to be thumped good and proper. Today the haka is carried out during welcoming ceremonies or, usually, before the start of international football matches. It's great fun to watch a haka being performed, especially if the match is between long time rivals, Australia and New Zealand. The Kiwis haka and threaten to kill and eat the Aussies, while the Aussies stand with arms folded across their chests, glowering unblinkingly back at the Kiwis. Very exciting. The only nose rubbing involved during these action-packed and sometimes violent games usually means most are about to be rubbed in the ground.

14. This is interesting, though very sad: The loss or deterioration in the sense of smell is now associated with the onset of which medical condition?

From Quiz Nobody Knows the Nose

Answer: Alzheimer's disease

Along with a deterioration in memory, the gradual deterioration in the sense of smell is now being linked to this tragic condition as well. It is to be hoped that one day very soon a cure for this deadly illness that brings so much sorrow to families can be found. Perhaps indeed, the nose may even play a greater part in this. Please don't feel that any deterioration in your own sense of smell means you are developing this disease. There are several possible causes related to loss of the sense of smell. Set your mind at ease and visit your doctor to sort it out instead. Humans have the ability to detect more than ten thousand different smells.

15. Another sensation that is associated with taste is the texture of a bolus of food. What unimaginative term is given for this sensation?

From Quiz Bitter, Sweet, Salty, and Sour: Senses of Taste

Answer: Mouthfeel

Mouthfeel is, like it sounds, how a particular food feels in the mouth. Custard has a different feel than crunchy carrots. It is worth noting that our mouths can detect very subtle changes in food. Both beer and wine use the term mouthfeel to differentiate the subtle difference between different beverages. By the way, bolus simply means a small mass of something and is used to describe a mouthful of food.

16. One possible theory regarding romance came about as a result of the nose's ability to detect scents. Which act in particular is it believed that smelling encouraged?

From Quiz Nobody Knows the Nose

Answer: Kissing

Kissing it is. It is believed that kissing evolved from the act of sniffing one's potential partner for particular pheromones. Pheromones are chemicals which are released by individuals to bring about certain responses in members of the opposite sex. Obviously such a theory cannot be proved. It is supposition only. In mammals, the pheromone detection cells are located between the nose and mouth in an area known, somewhat unfortunately, as Jacobson's organ.

17. Bitter is the most complex of taste sensations. Why might this be?

From Quiz Bitter, Sweet, Salty, and Sour: Senses of Taste

Answer: To protect the body from a wide variety of toxins.

Many toxins and poisons have a bitter flavor. One particular group of chemicals that trigger a bitter taste is the alkaloids, like caffeine or strychnine. The gustatory cells have a very low threshold to many of these alkaloids which makes sense as it often does not take much of the compounds to poison the body. Interestingly, the larger the alkaloid molecule is, the greater the bitter sensation usually is. While bitterness is a warning mechanism to the brain, humans have evolved a liking for many bitter foods like chocolate and coffee.

18. What is the correct term for the act of sneezing?

From Quiz It Smells New

Answer: Sternutation

A sneeze is usually caused by various particles awakening the defence mechanism of the nasal mucous, but it can also be caused by infections, bright light, sudden variations in temperature, and even an overly full belly. Some scientists believe that the manner in which we each sneeze may be genetic. The learned chaps put the tips of their fingers together and state that similar types of sneezes can be found within families, and that this is obviously the result of the similarity of their smiles, various skin types, styles of laughing and so on. It occurs to me, however, that the similarity in sneezing within families could also simply be a case of learned behaviour.

19. Sour is determined by the acidity of the food. Why might sour be an important taste?

From Quiz Bitter, Sweet, Salty, and Sour: Senses of Taste

Answer: Spoiled food often tastes sour.

The acidity of food creates a sour sensation triggering the hydrogen proton (H+) receptors in the gustatory cells. Food spoilage results from bacterial breakdown of the food and creates a by-product of lactic acid. While lactic acid itself is not harmful, often the bacteria creating the acid are, thus resulting in sour being a defensive taste mechanism. Good bacteria are responsible for pickled food, including sauerkraut and kimchi. These bacteria also release lactic acid which is why they are sour, but in this case, the healthy bacteria actually help prevent the harmful bacteria from growing on the food. This is why pickled foods can stay edible for a long period of time without refrigeration. Pickled fish anyone?

20. Noses are approximately the same length as which other part of the human body?

From Quiz Nobody Knows the Nose

Answer: Thumbs

A good strong thumb, along with a good strong nose, is also supposedly a sign of a good strong character. Other interesting facts about noses include that they can reveal a lot about the health of an individual. For example, a crease across the top of the nose can indicate a person who suffers from allergies. This is because they're always wiping their hooter and pushing it upwards to do so. Snoring can indicate health problems. So can red noses, runny noses, dry noses and smelly noses, lack of smell and several other nose related conditions. All together now: "Nobody nose the trouble I've seen..."

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Last Updated May 18 2024 5:50 AM
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