During school days, most children learn that humans have just five senses, i.e. smell, sight, taste, touch and lastly, hearing. Presently, there’s no proper definition of what makes up a sense; but a few researchers define it as a perception or feeling produced as a result of a specific condition in the body or via human sense organs of taste, touch, etc. However, this traditional classification of five senses, as mentioned by ancient Greek scientist and philosopher Aristotle, isn’t completely right. According to several neurologists, human beings have around 9 to 21 senses. Some of these additional senses are as following:
Also referred to as the sense of balance, equilibrioception helps prevent animals and humans from tripping over when they are moving or standing.
This is sense deals with how a person’s brain perceives when his/her body is in space. Even when one is blindfolded, the brain will still be able to perceive through proprioception if a hand is hanging on the side or is on top of the head. A lack of this sense can result in improper coordination between the mind and the body.
This is the sense of heat. The thermoreceptors in the body allow detection of hot and cold temperatures. It helps a person know if an object is cold or hot even without touching it.
This sense helps in detecting magnetic fields. Though human beings don’t have a good sense of magnetoception, they still can detect the magnetic field of Earth up to a certain extent.
Apart from this, there is also nociception which is the sense to feel pain and stretch receptors which are found in places like the bladder, lungs, stomach, gastrointestinal tract and blood vessels. Pressure, hunger, thirst, muscle tension and itch are also senses.
Many say that intuition or gut feeling is also a sense. However, there is no a strong evidence to add it in the present list of sense. But the researchers, who are studying the phenomenon, are slowly becoming convinced that a few humans have the ability to acquire information without conscious reasoning, evidence or proof. The researchers say that it is a real ability which can be recognized through lab experiments.
Well, in order to have a sense, there’s a need of a sensor. Every sense organ functions differently and utilizes unique sensors to stimulate a particular sensation. This is one of the major reasons why researchers are unable to keep an account of all the known senses. However, one thing that’s certain is that there are more than just five senses than what one ever imagined.