Breathing

You Have A Dominant Nostril At Any Given Point

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

Take a deep breath through your nose. It may not feel like it, but one nostril is working much harder than the other. In fact, at any given point, you have a dominant nostril, and which one is dominant will switch throughout your day. This is a process called the nasal cycle. Your nostrils automatically take turns inhaling and exhaling the majority of your air, and they are never splitting the workload evenly. According to research, the resistance difference between the right and left nostrils is about 20%. Why do they take turns? One reason is that our bodies must constantly adjust how much smell we take in at once, so we don't overload our senses.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. One nostril inhales and circulates air more efficiently than the other. 00:41

  2. Our bodies must constantly adjust how much smell we take in at once, as not to overload our senses. 04:47

  3. Smell and memories are closely linked. 05:34

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement