OCT 25, 2018 12:01 PM PDT

Want a Stimulus for Taste? Try Licking a Battery

WRITTEN BY: Daniel Duan

What does electricity taste like? Behind this childish, nearly foolish quest, there is some curious mechanisms of chemistry and physics in play.

We know that sour foods contain acid, and the electrolysis happens when a wet and conducting object shortcircuits a battery. So it shouldn't be surprising to know that when the tip of your tongue touches the anode and cathode of a 9V battery, the taste receptors and cation channels on your tongue will generate the taste of sour as a response of influx protons generated from your saliva. 

But not all batteries taste the same. Depending on the type of metal used in the poles and the part of your tongue (different sensory nerves are located in different spots), the taste generated by a mild electric current could be drastically different, anything from sweet, bitter, savory to the sensation of burning.

Source: SciShow via Youtube

About the Author
  • Graduated with a bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Science and a master degree in neuropharmacology, Daniel is a radiopharmaceutical and radiobiology expert based in Ottawa, Canada. With years of experience in biomedical R&D, Daniel is very into writing. He is constantly fascinated by what's happening in the world of science. He hopes to capture the public's interest and promote scientific literacy with his trending news articles. The recurring topics in his Chemistry & Physics trending news section include alternative energy, material science, theoretical physics, medical imaging, and green chemistry.
You May Also Like
MAY 18, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Understanding the movement of Martian mars
MAY 18, 2020
Understanding the movement of Martian mars
New research led by scientists from the Institute of Geophysics at the Czech Academy of Sciences describes the latest fi ...
JUN 15, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
3D-printed bio-ink prints tissues inside the body
JUN 15, 2020
3D-printed bio-ink prints tissues inside the body
Imagine this: 3D-printed body parts that are printed directly in the body. Sounds far out, right? But new research from ...
JUL 02, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Electrochemicals Fuel The Path for Drug Discovery
JUL 02, 2020
Electrochemicals Fuel The Path for Drug Discovery
Drug discovery scientists at Cornell University have diverted away from the traditional synthetic chemistry into a more ...
JUL 23, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
Was There a Magnetic Network of Cosmic Scale?
JUL 23, 2020
Was There a Magnetic Network of Cosmic Scale?
William Gilbert, the British physicist and physician who experimentally verified the magnetic nature of our planet, cont ...
JUL 22, 2020
Infographics
The Science of Sourdough
JUL 22, 2020
The Science of Sourdough
During the coronavirus stay-at-home order, many people have taken up the art of making sourdough bread and have learned ...
AUG 06, 2020
Chemistry & Physics
The fluid dynamics of injection-induced earthquakes
AUG 06, 2020
The fluid dynamics of injection-induced earthquakes
While injection-induced earthquakes have become commonplace in oil fields where wastewater is pumped deep into the Earth ...
Loading Comments...