Despite being a curious science cat, I must confess I haven’t spent much time looking up human noses. But I have noticed that human nostrils can be a bit…furry.

I talked about what’s inside your nose with my friend Edward Johnson. He teaches classes about the human body in the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University.

He told me that nose hairs only grow in your nose’s vestibule. That’s the inside of the part of your nostrils that you can flare out. The nose hair’s job is to filter the air you breathe in through your nose.

When you breathe in, air enters your nose of course. But so do other things like little bits of dust, pollen and pollution like from wildfire smoke. Sometimes bacteria and viruses are hanging out in the air you breathe, too.

Your nose hairs are like guards for the entrance to your nose.

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