We use our tongues all the time to eat, talk, and swallow. Food just wouldn’t be the same without a working tongue, but have you ever thought about how this amazing organ does what it does? We have, and we’re going to share some of the most interesting facts about your tongue.
Tongues are measured from the epiglottis (a flap of cartilage in the mouth at the back of the tongue) to the tip. An adult man’s average tongue length is 3.3 inches (8.5 cm), and an adult woman’s average tongue length is 3.1 inches (7.9 cm).
According to the Guinness World Records, the current title of World’s Longest Tongue belongs to an American named Nick Stoeberl, whose tongue measures 3.97 inches (10.1 cm).
The average adult has between 2,000 to 4,000 taste buds in total. The sensory cells in the taste buds responsible for how we perceive taste renew themselves every week.
About one-quarter of the population is considered “supertasters,” people with a heightened sense of taste, particularly for bitter foods and specifically a bitter compound called 6-n-propylthiouracil (PROP). Another quarter is considered “nontasters,” who fortunately can taste foods, but are less sensitive and cannot detect the bitter taste of PROP.