Humans have been taught from an early age that they have five senses: sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell. These senses allow us to interact with the world around us and navigate through life. However, this common misconception has been proven to be a false notion in biology. The human body possesses far more than just five senses and this belief is by no means a new discovery. Scientists have long recognized the existence of other senses, such as proprioception and vestibular sense. In this article, we will explore the misconception of the five senses and uncover the full spectrum of the human sensory system.

Although humans have commonly referred to the five senses, scientists have identified multiple others. For example, proprioception is the sense that allows us to identify the position and movement of our body parts without needing to look at them. This sense allows us to move our muscles and limbs without having to rely on visual input. Vestibular sense is the sense that provides us with information about orientation and movement. It allows us to understand our position and motion, and helps us stay balanced.

These additional senses do not end there either. For example, nociception is the sense of pain that allows us to respond to potentially harmful stimuli. Other senses like thermoception and equilibrioception provide us with information about temperature and our balance, respectively. These senses help us maintain equilibrium and survive in our environments.

The Limitations of Biological Sensing

One of the main reasons why humans are limited in their understanding of their sensory system is because it is difficult, if not impossible, to experience everything in the world. Our senses have limitations and sometimes they may not detect stimuli that can be detected by other animals. For example, dogs possess a sense of smell that is far more advanced than humans. They can detect scents on a molecular level that humans would not even notice. Humans may see, taste or touch things that dogs can’t perceive.

The sensory systems of other animals, such as the electroreception of sharks or the echolocation of bats, go beyond what humans are capable of perceiving. Therefore, the sensory environment experienced by any given organism is highly specific and varies according to its lifestyle, ecology, and evolution.

The Future of Biological Sense Research

While scientists have made significant discoveries about the human senses, there is still so much we do not know. New research studies are emerging that explore the human senses in more detail and continue to challenge beliefs about how we experience the world. Researchers are investigating how the sensory experiences of humans can be improved, for instance, by developing sensory prostheses that will permit people who have lost their senses to continue to enjoy a relatively normal life. The possibilities and potential benefits for human society are endless.


In conclusion, the common misconception that human beings only have five senses has been debunked. The sensory system of our body is far more complex and nuanced than we have been previously led to believe. As the field of biological senses continues to evolve, we can expect more discoveries to be made about the limits and expanses of the human sensory system. The exploration of the sensory system is essential for humans to discover new ways to interact with the world around us and advance our way of life.


– “The senses: A primer” by John Medina in Nature, vol 479, pagesS16–S17 (2011).
– “Sensory biology: Sensory ecology, behaviour, and evolution” by T. E. Higham and S. V. Ting in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, vol 378, issue 1788 (2013).

Further reading

– “The Secret Life of Senses: Unlocking the Mysteries of Taste, Smell, Touch, Hearing, and Sight” by David Eagleman.
– “Sensory Exotica: A World Beyond Human Experience” by Howard C. Hughes.
– “Senses: How We Experience the World” by Gregg Mitman.

By Peter

6 thoughts on “Humans have only five senses”
  1. This article was a waste of time. I already knew that humans have more than five senses. What is the point of discussing the obvious? Is there any groundbreaking discovery mentioned in this article that I missed?

  2. It’s fascinating to learn that humans do not just have five senses but also possess other senses, such as proprioception, vestibular sense, nociception, thermoception, and equilibrioception. These senses are crucial for maintaining balance, orientation, and survival in our environment. However, it is also important to note that the sensory systems of other animals are far more advanced and specialized, allowing them to perceive and detect stimuli that humans cannot. As the field of biological sense research continues to evolve, there is an endless possibility for discoveries that will change the way we interact with the world around us.

    1. Thank you for your insightful comment! It’s fascinating how much we still have to learn about the complexities of the human sensory system and how it compares to that of other animals. The potential for new discoveries is truly endless, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for biological sense research.

  3. While the common misconception that humans only have five senses has been debunked, it is disappointing that this information is not more widely known. It is important to acknowledge the complexity and nuance of our sensory system, as well as the limitations of our senses compared to other animals. However, it is exciting to see that more research is being done to further our understanding of the human sensory system and explore ways to enhance sensory experiences. For those interested in learning more, there are a variety of resources available, including books by authors like David Eagleman, Howard C. Hughes, and Gregg Mitman.

    1. Thank you for sharing your insights on the complexity of the human sensory system and the exciting potential for enhancing our sensory experiences through further research. It’s great to have resources like the books you mentioned to continue to expand our knowledge on this topic.

  4. Indeed, animals have developed many different kinds of sensory systems that go beyond what humans can sense. For example, some species of animals have developed a sense of magnetism, which they use to navigate during migration. Another example is the infrared sense in some snakes, which allows them to detect changes in temperature, enabling them to locate prey in complete darkness. For more information on this topic, you can check out the article “Beyond the Five Senses: The Science of Senses You’ve Never Heard Of” by Mihai Andrei on the ZME Science website. This page explores an overview of some of the lesser-known senses in various animals.

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