Tongue Facts
Tongue Facts

25 Tasty Tongue Facts You'll Love

Karin Lehnardt
By Karin Lehnardt, Senior Writer
Published December 27, 2020
  • Tongue muscles are the only muscles in the body that work independent of the skeleton.[2]
  • Californian Nick Stoeberl has the longest tongue ever recorded, 3.97 inches (10.1cm) long, measured from the tip of the extended tongue to the middle of the top lip.[4]
  • The human tongue works even while you're sleeping by pushing saliva down the throat.[4]
  • The taste cells on a human tongue respond to at least 5 basic qualities: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, umami (savory) .[4]
  • No two tongue prints are the same.  Even identical twins' tongues don't resemble each other.[4]
  • How long are tongues
    A piece of tongue that is bitten off or removed will not regrow
  • The average human tongue is about 3 inches long.[4]
  • Tongue fat volume can lead to obstructive sleep apnea. Losing weight leads to a slimmer tongue and, consequently, to better sleep.[7]
  • The human tongue contains 8 muscles and about 10,000 taste buds.[4]
  • Before your tongue's taste receptors can taste, saliva needs to moisten the food.[5]
  • The bumps on your tongue are not the taste buds. They are hair-like papillae on top of which live microscopic taste buds.[2]
  • The 2,000–10,000 taste buds that live on a person's tongue die off and regrow about every 10–14 days.[2]
  • About 1/4 of the world's population are considered to be "supertasters," or people who have a heightened sense of taste, especially for bitter foods. Another 1/4 are considered to be "non-tasters" who are less sensitive tasters.[4]
  • People have taste buds on places besides the tongue, such as on the back of the throat, the epiglottis, nose, sinuses, all the way down the throat to the upper part of the esophagus. Babies and young children have even more taste cells in the mucous membranes of their cheeks and lips.[4]
  • Contrary to common belief, tastes can be sensed on all parts of the tongue, not just on certain zones. The sides of the tongue are more sensitive than the middle. The back of the tongue is more sensitive to bitter taste.[2]
  • Animal tongues
    Animals have amazing tongues
  • The tube-lipped nectar bat has the longest tongue, in relation to body size, of any mammal.[8]
  • The human tongue is not the strongest muscle in the body.[10]
  • Taste buds evolved for survival. Bitter or sour tastes can indicate food that is poisonous or rotten.[2]
  • A chameleon's tongue extends twice as long as its body. It's also one of nature's fastest tongues and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 1/100th of a second.[1]
  • Flamingos have erectile tissue in their tongues. When feeding, this tissue fills with blood and becomes rigid, which helps stabilize the birds' heads.[3]
  • In Tibet, sticking out your tongue is a form of greeting.[2]
  • Can tongues get fat?
    Yes, your tongue can gain weight
  • Tongues can get fat. In fact, tongue weight is correlated with degrees of obesity.[7]
  • With tongues that can reach up to 10 inches long, sun bears have the longest tongue of all bears.[2]
  • Tigers have serrated tongues that they use to strip flesh off bone. Their tongues easily remove fur, skin, and feathers off their prey.[6]
  • The giant palm salamander has the most powerful tongue in the animal kingdom, at 18,000 watts per kilogram of muscle.[9]
  • A giraffe’s tongue is nearly 2 feet long and is the most muscular of all hoofed animals. Their tongues are also prehensile.[2]
  • Tasty Tongue Infographic INFOGRAPHIC
    Terrific Tongue Infographic

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