back to article Do humans have a compass in their nose?

Also in this week's column: Who knows what there is to know about the nose? Do humans have a compass in their nose? Asked by Lee Staniforth of Manchester, UK Some years ago scientists at CALTECH (California Institute of Technology in Pasadena) discovered that humans possess a tiny, shiny crystal of magnetite in the ethmoid …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its in the Spec

    Humans do have a compass in the nose, it was in the original specification, and each unit does have the physical hardware.

    However, our Marketing guys had an idea to increase the product lifecycle and revenues, they got us to disable the compass on the firmware of the Human-Unit, so we can sell "upgrades" later on providing this functionality.

    We hope to be able to provide this upgrade as soon as our beancounters can decide how much the upgrade should cost should be for each unit.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe we just need a strong magnet to realign ourselves?

    Anyone got a horseshoe? =)

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That explains the headaches

    Interesting. I wonder how this might be related to incidents of headaches or uncomfortableness of people who live near power lines or other large sources of VLF and ELF radiation. Additionally, it might explain why some people can "hear" an electrical current when there is no actual sound waves or other indicator of conduction.

    Talk about an odd body!

  4. Andy Davies

    When I was a kid...

    When I was none or ten years old pencils were still in common use in schools <s> and several of us discovered that if a sharpened pencil is moved point first towards the bridge of the nose (don't try this at home kids!) a funny buzzing feeling was experienced. Grown-ups who were asked about this denied feeling anything and suggested the pencil was touching the fine hairs on the skin, but the effect could be felt with the pencil further away than that.


  5. Paul Harder

    Glasses and compasses

    So now I'm wondering if wearing glasses, or glasses with small magnets on them like the ones I wear, have any effect upon this magnetic capability? does proximity to metal affect the ability to understand direction? Just curious...

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