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Nose can detect one trillion odors

A man smells the aroma of distilled whisky spirit in London on April 24.
Warning: Excessive consumption of alcohol can damage your health.

Photo: Bloomberg

The human nose can detect one trillion different odors, far more than we previously thought, say US scientists.

Until now, the long-held belief was that we can sniff out about 10,000 smells.

New estimates published in Science suggest the human nose outperforms the eye and the ear in terms of the number of stimuli it can distinguish between.

Researchers at the Rockefeller University say we use only a tiny part of our olfactory powers.

The human eye uses three kinds of light receptors that work together to see up to 10 million colors, while the ear can hear almost half a million tones.

(Liberty Times)








1. sniff v.

嗅;聞 (xiu4; wen2)

例: He sniffed his socks to see if they needed washing.


2. outperform v.

表現超越 (biao3 xian4 chao1 yue4)

例: The car engine has consistently outperformed its rivals this season.


3. olfactory adj.

嗅覺的 (xiu4 jue2 de5)

例: The olfactory nerve carries the sensory information for the sense of smell.


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