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How many senses do humans have?

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The Answer

Anywhere from 14-20, but the actual number is disputed.

Nearly everyone has heard of the five main senses: Sight, sound, touch, taste and smell. While the actual number of senses is disputed, the one thing experts agree on is that there are many more.

Most of those familiar with the matter say there are between 14 and 20, depending on how you define a sense. Perhaps the simplest definition is: a sense is a channel through which your body can observe itself or the outside world.

How many senses do we have? Between 14 to 20, scientists claim – Big Think

One of our lesser-known senses is proprioception, also known as your sense of space. It’s how you know where your body parts are in relation to each other and how you can touch a finger to your nose with your eyes closed.

You also have sensors in your inner ear that control balance (equilibrioception). These sensors are also the reason why you tend to get really dizzy and fall down after spinning.

This is part of your vestibular system, which can also sense velocity. It’s behind why you can see/read things smoothly when you’re moving your head around. Your vestibular system disagreeing with your sense of sight is why you may experience motion sickness.

There are receptors in your bloodstream that detect oxygen levels and receptors in your lungs that detect when there’s too much CO2 (and tell you when you should stop holding your breath).

Another sense is thermoception: the ability to feel temperature (which some think should be counted as 2 different senses – 1 for hot and 1 for cold) and many other senses that work in the skin, such as the ability to feel pain, pressure, and itching, although these may or may not fall under your sense of touch.

Don’t forget the ability to sense the passage of time (chronoception) as well as hunger and thirst, usually followed soon thereafter by stretch receptors triggering the feeling of needing to use the washroom (yes, those are two more).

So the next time someone claims to have a sixth sense for something, feel free to be that guy and tell them that it’s actually anywhere between their 15th and 21st sense, depending on who you ask.

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