Posted by: thediygeochemist | December 10, 2010

Why it’s bad to pick your nose…unless…

Finals week will be here soon, and I am feeling a bit silly…so here’s a silly post.

My microbiology professor required a research paper of his students (as do most teachers of grad classes, I suspect). He kindly allowed us to pick any topic we wanted, however, as long as it pertained somewhat to microbiology.

On the last day of class, we each got up and spoke for a few minutes about our chosen topic. One lady had decided to investigate the microbiome of the human nose–what’s in your snot. After she talked about what happens when you sneeze, etc., she mentioned that snot catches germs, then liquifies and runs down your throat into your stomach.

Needless to say, after class I had to go talk to her. “I tell my boys all of the time not to pick their nose and eat it because snot has got loads of germs in it,” I said. “Are you telling me that it doesn’t matter, because it’s all going to end up in your digestive system anyway?”

“Well, there’s nothing wrong with eating your snot, other than the social factors,” she said. “The problem is with the actual retrieval. See, your hands have all those germs on them that you got from doorknobs and light switches and all that, and you’re putting those germs into your nose.”

So there you have it, folks. It’s unhealthy to pick your nose with germy fingers. But if you use Purell first (or wear gloves), there’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating the snot you retrieve.


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