Your Kidneys Are Literally Tasting Your Pee for Toxins
Taste and smell receptors don't just exist in your face. For the past decade or so, scientists have been discovering, to their surprise, that these specialized cells are actually found in tissues and organs all over your body, like the kidneys, heart, spine, respiratory tract, and even red blood cells. They initially wrote it off as a case of bodily confusion, but now they have a more interesting theory: your entire body is constantly smelling and tasting the world around you. That last sentence reads like either madness or the setup for a gory body-horror movie, but it may be true.
The appropriate reaction.
Take your kidneys, for example: Scent receptors are found within a tight grouping of cells called the macula densa. This region regulates blood filtration rates and therefore urine production, but the presence of these receptors suggests that it's literally smelling and/or tasting your piss as a form of chemical analysis. That's right: Your kidneys are super freaky.
"Yeah, that wasn't tea ..."
Even your blood can smell things. In an experiment, scientists put blood cells on one side of a chamber and an aromatic compound that reacted with their scent receptors on the other, and watched in fascination (or perhaps abject horror) as the blood moved toward the scent. Getting more Cronenbergian by the minute here, aren't we? Well hold on, because it gets weirder:
You know what can also smell? Sperm.
"Guys, smell that? I think we went the wrong way."