Do Humans Have a Compass in Their Nose?

Stephen Juan, an anthropologist from the University of Sydney, wrote that Caltech scientists discovered that humans possess crystals of magnetite in the ethmoid bone, just behind the nose:

Magnetite helps orientation and direction finding in animals. It no doubtingly helps migratory species migrate successfully by allowing them to draw upon the earth's magnetic fields. In the case, when it comes to humans, magnetite makes the ethmoid bone sensitive to the earth's magnetic field and helps one's sense of direction. Some have even suggested that this "compass" was helpful in human evolution as it made migration and hunting easier.

http://anthropology.net/user/kambiz_kamrani/blog/2006/11/21/the_tiny_magnetite_compass_in_the_human_nose


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Carl: it was in a Home Improvement episode, I think. The neighbor told Allen about iron in the nose, and he made some bugger joke afterwards.
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I've heard this before (but it was explained to me as "iron in the nose") and that it was why men have better (arguably!) navigational skills and direction sense, and possibly even better spatial reasoning - because men have larger deposits of the magnetic material than women.

Interesting.
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