How Sharp Are Your Senses?

My Monster Moon Mysteries series coauthor, Kathryn Sant (our pseudonym is BBH McChiller), wrote an interesting post on our Emblazon authors’ site yesterday. It’s all about the senses and quite fascinating. Check it out: It Makes Sense to Use All Your Senses.

As I read about all these new senses human beings have, it dawned on me that I’m lacking in a few.

For instance, take equilibrioception. As Kathy says, “This is balance, that sense that keeps us standing upright, coordinated by the vestibular region of inner ear with a little help from our eyes. You can use this sense in describing fast-moving sports, fights, or states of drunkenness.”


Here’s proof how bad I’m lacking in this sense. I tripped on a step and fell on both knees and left wrist. It happened on Halloween night. My left knee took the brunt of the fall. Such a freaky swollen knob on top of my already knobby knee. And the bruising, ain’t it a beaut? Looks like a gory Halloween makeup job, but it’s real.

The bruising is gone now, but the swelling remains. I’m wearing a sports knee pad when I compete in cage fighting babysit the grand darlings.  Every time the kids (ages 4 and 2) fight over my lap, the kneecap grows another knob.

I’m not looking for sympathy. Honest. I’m thankful I dodged a bullet. The knee is tender but doesn’t really hurt. I bet I can still do a cart-wheel. Not!

In September, I had another fall. I twisted my ankle because I was wearing two different high heels (props for my speech). I happened to be recording at the time because I was practicing a humorous speech for a Toastmasters contest.

My equilibrioception is pretty bad, but being double jointed has saved me multiple times. Whew!

Do you have good magnetoreception? In her blog post, Kathy says, “Some people have a natural sense of direction and/or navigation and always seem to know which way is north or how to get home. They, like homing pigeons, are employing a sense of magnetoreception. They’re ‘feeling’ the surrounding magnetic fields.”

Sounds like having a built-in compass. Can’t say this is one of my stronger senses. I’ve lived in my current city almost four years and still get lost driving just a couple blocks from home. Even with a GPS. I’ve learned I shouldn’t depend on Global Positioning Systems. I call it a Get Punked System. I think I’d be better off with a map and a compass.

I’m not the only one who’s been punked by a GPS. I wrote a blog post about it. You can read it here. Watch the video clips if you need a giggle.

The reporter also mentions these real life GPS mishaps:

  • A woman headed to a hotel in Washington state and ended up in a swamp
  • A 12-foot-high bus was lead into a nine-foot-high bridge
  • A UK man almost drove off a cliff from following his GPS directions
  • A wrecking crew in Georgia demolished a house at the wrong address, thanks to a GPS

Have you ever heard of proprioception? Kathy explains, “This is body awareness. If you close your eyes or go blind, you still have an idea where your hand is or if your legs are crossed.

“Try going downstairs in the dark or with your eyes shut. You have a sense of where your hand is as you reach for the banister. You know where your foot is and you know when you expect it to touch the next step. (What if that step wasn’t there?)”

All these new senses are great for writers to take into consideration. I wrote a short story titled “Invisible” for a soon-to-be-released anthology (Kissed by an Angel). Now that I know what proprioception is, I realize that my main character experienced that sense in the story. How cool!

What are your strongest senses? What are your weaker senses? Ever had a bad fall? Are you double jointed? 

Be sure to read Kathy’s post. In addition to new human senses, I think you’ll enjoy reading about the amazing senses animals have.




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14 Responses to How Sharp Are Your Senses?

  1. Equilibrioception, huh? And here I thought it was just being clumsy. That fall you took is the kind of thing that happens to me all the time!

    OTOH, I do have good magnetoreception (never knew there was a name for that, either!). Once I’ve driven someplace once or twice, I remember how to get there without directions or a map.

    Hope your knee heals soon!

    • Jennette – I hope you haven’t had any bad injuries from falling. Seems like the older we get, the harder we fall.

      That’s great that you have good magnetoreception. Gosh, I wish I had that! Now that I know about it, I think this sense will come into play in the time travel story for our Monster Moon series. I need to get back to working on it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Patricia says:

    Both, my magnetoreception and my equilibrioception are pretty good, despite having Meniere’s Disease. Fortunately that is episodal so I don’t have issues all the time.

    My proprioception is probably better than most. I attribute that to the fact that, from a very young age, I’ve had vision problems. I truly cannot see without my glasses. So, when I get up at night to go to the bathroom or anywhere (in my house) I usually know exactly how many steps to take or where to put my hand to touch a counter top of door knob. I rarely bump into things when I’m not at home either, and I think that because my inner radar has a very good memory. My brain remembers where my feet have been.

    What an interesting post. Thanks for sharing, although I didn’t really need to see the knee picture or the falling down video.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • Wow, Patricia, I’m sorry you have Meniere’s Disease, but I’m glad it’s episodal and not a constant hindrance. That’s great that you have good magnetoreception and my equilibrioception. Both are valuable senses. I’m wondering if there’s a way to develop them (for those of us who are lacking).

      What you shared about your sense of proprioception is really interesting. There’s a whole blog post right there. I can see how having vision problems from a young age would make you compensate and develop other senses to help you deal with that. This is all fascinating to me, and I love hearing about your personal experiences.

  3. Oh Lynn, you poor thing. Besides everything else that’s been going on in your world, this happens? You must be going crazy. Years ago I tripped over our cocker spaniel and landed the tile floor on both knees. Iy, yi, yi, that was a killer. So glad the bruise is gone, but I know, the pain sometimes will last a while longer. Just know you’ve been missed around these here parts! Please take care and no more falls! Fortunately, I have a good sense of direction and balance. That isn’t always a guarantee. ((Hugs)) 🙂

  4. Karen, you’re so sweet. I miss having you in SoCal. Let us know when you come back for a visit. Glad to hear you have a good sense of direction and balance. You’re right about that not being a guarantee. Tripping over our dogs must be a common cause of falls. I don’t know how many times I’ve tripped over our dogs through the years! Thank you for coming by, dear friend. I miss you.

  5. Jami Gold says:

    I definitely have the “no idea where my limbs are” klutz thing going on. :/ But yes, I’ve got the sense of direction down. I hate places all made up of curved roads–drives me nuts. LOL!

  6. Jami – Places with curved roads drive me nuts, too! Good thing you have a good sense of direction. Thank you for stopping in and leaving your comment. You made my day! 🙂

  7. Yvette Carol says:

    Wow, that’s fascinating, Lynn! And how incredible, and magical, that you should have written about it in ‘Invisible.’
    I’m not sure if my sense of balance and direction comes from nature or nurture. From the time we were very little, we spent every long weekend and holiday break at our land in the Coromandel. All day, every day of the holidays was spent clambering over rocks, or climbing hillsides and that really does help you have good balance. Great post, Lynn! I like the subtle reference to KBAA 😉

    • Aw, thanks, Yvette! Yes, I can see how spending your childhood in the Coromandel would develop your sense of balance and many other senses, too. Such an awesome part of your childhood.

      I’m glad you like the subtle reference to KBAA. I’m building up to it! Waiting until some stumbling blocks are behind us before I go full force with it. I’m going to do a Happy Dance along with a couple back flips when we get our baby published! 🙂

  8. Sorry about your knee! Wow, that is quite a bruise.
    My wife can testify that I completely lack magnetoreception.

    • Alex – I’m sure your wife knows what a gem she’s got, but I’ve got to give you props for admitting to a lack of magnetoreception. I don’t think many men would admit to it! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

  9. Pingback: Bad Stairway - Watch Your Step - Health and Wellness Wednesday - Lynn Kelley, AuthorLynn Kelley, Author

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