We have more than five senses, say scientists

Wow: This is Daniel Kish, who has learned how to use echolocation. Bats use it to see in the dark. © Getty

Everyone knows that humans have five senses that let us experience the world around us. What if we had even more? Scientists now think that humans have a secret magnetic sense.

What’s happening

We have five basic senses: sight, touch, hearing, smell and taste. Right? Well, perhaps not.

Some scientists believe that humans, in fact, have many secret senses. These can allow us to sense magnetic fields and even “see” with our eyes closed.

Find out more

An experiment in the US and Japan found that humans may be able to sense the Earth’s magnetic field. Animals like pigeons use their magnetic sense to navigate.

Now, scientists think that humans have similar hidden skills.

That’s not all. Daniel Kish, who has been blind since childhood, learnt to “see” the world using echolocation.

When he makes a clicking noise with his tongue, he can tell what objects and obstacles are around him.

He can even use his amazing new sense to go hiking and mountain biking.

Do humans have secret senses?

Some say…

Yes! The human body could have 10, 20 or 50 brilliant, strange senses waiting to be discovered. We learn more and more every day. There is no limit to what we can do!

Others think…

No! People like Daniel Kish are using their bodies in amazing ways, but there is no such thing as magical, “secret” senses. We should be proud of the human body’s abilities as it is.

You Decide

  1. How many senses do you think you have?

Activities

  1. Create a story board about a child who discovers that they have a new, special sense. What is it and what can they use it for?

Some People Say...

“Humanity has only scratched the surface of its real potential.”

Peace Pilgrim (1908-1981), US spiritual teacher

What do you think?

Word Watch

Navigate
Move around without getting lost.
Similar
Almost the same as.
Obstacles
Things that get in the way.

Subjects

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