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.
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