Booger Facts

Ever wonder about the wonder of boogers? Why are some boogers sticky while others are slimy? How and why do boogers form in your nose in the first place? For anyone who’s ever been fascinated by those little (or big), spring-filled, roly-poly wonders of your nasal cavity, or the part of the body they call home, the following facts are for you!

Fun Fact #1: Your nose is the ultimate lean, green, booger producing machine. Your nose makes mucus to prevent dust and pollen from traveling to your lungs. Some mucus is swallowed (about a quart a day) and some stays nestled in your nose. When you breathe dry air into your nose, that mucus is dried and becomes a booger.

Fun Fact #2: The proper term for picking your nose is Rhinotillexomania.Say what? Rhino means “nose,” tillexis means “habit of picking,” and mania means “excessive enthusiasm.” Put them together and you get one enthusiastic nose picker! And just in case you don’t think you’re one of them, one out of four people admit to picking their nose at least once a day.

Fun Fact #3: Your sinuses can make 2 liters of mucus every day. That’s almost 8.5 cups or the equivalent of how much water you should be drinking each day!

Fun Fact #4: The speed of a sneeze is approximately 100 mph. That’s faster than a cheetah can run. (No statistics yet on the speed of a sneeze from a running cheetah!) In addition to being speedy, a single sneeze can send 100,000 germs into the air! While that might not be good news if you’re standing next to a sneezer, sneezing is actually a good thing. Sneezes protect your body by clearing the nose of bacteria and viruses.

Fun Fact #5: The sneeziest animal is the iguana.Iguanas sneeze more often and more productively than any other animal according to Patti Wood, author of Success Signals: Understanding Body Language. Sneezing is how they rid their bodies of certain salts that are the normal byproduct of their digestive process.

Fun Fact #6: Snot is made mostly of water.But, water is only one ingredient. Snot is also made of tiny particles that are in the air we breathe like germs, dust and pollen. When air debris gets trapped in your tiny little nose hairs, it mixes with snot or mucus and from there, can become a booger.

Fun Fact #7: Your nose makes a habit of running wild.When you have a cold or flu, your nose makes more mucus to keep germs out of your lungs and the rest of your body. This extra mucus runs down your throat or out your nose or some may make a temporary home in your sinuses making you feel all stuffy up there. Your nose also runs when you have allergies. If you are around something you are allergic to like pet dander or fancy flowers, your nose treats them like germs. They kick their mucus producers into overdrive which means it’s time to grab a Boogie Wipe. Your nose also runs when you cry. Why? Tears drain through the tear ducts that empty into your nose. Tears mix with mucus there and your nose runs.Cold weather also makes noses run. If your nose is cold, it tries to warm up the cold air you breathe before sending it to the lungs. Tiny blood vessels inside your nostrils open wider (dilate), helping to warm up that air. But that extra blood flow leads to more mucus production.

Fun Fact #8: Your nose does more than decipher smells.We all know that noses do a great job of telling you about your environment. They tell you when cookies are being baked or when it’s time to clean out your gym bag. But noses are also a key factor in telling you how those cookies taste. That’s right; your healthy nose is a key element in how well you taste what you’re eating. The ability to smell and taste go together because odors from foods allow us to taste more fully.

Fact #9: (We left out “fun” in this fact because we all know colds are no fun): Colds are the most common illness among children of all ages and they last about a week.Statistics show that preschool-aged children have around nine colds per year, kindergartners can have 12 colds per year, and adolescents and adults have about seven colds per year. Cold season typically runs from September until March or April.

Fun Fact #10: The best way to rid your nose of a booger is to blow it into a “booger catcher.”A “booger catcher” is just a fancy word for tissue. Picking your nose, as much fun as that can be, isn’t the best way to rid your nose of bothersome boogers. Boogers, as we’ve learned contain lots of germs you don’t need on your hands. AND, picking can cause your nose to bleed. Blowing them away into a “booger catcher” is a much cleaner and safer way to get rid of boogers.