How Scientists Accidentally Discovered Supertasting Mutant Humans

Supertasters have long ruled the world of sommeliers and chefs, but our knowledge of their existence is still a relatively new phenomenon.

As The Atlantic notes, a recent article by Andrew Haan revealed the incidental nature of these supposed superhumans. The scientists involved even offer a first hand account of the revelation:

Some time ago the author had occasion to prepare a quantity of phenyl thio carbamide, and while placing it in a bottle the dust flew around in the air. Another occupant of the laboratory, Dr. C. R. Noller, complained of the bitter taste of the dust, but the author, who was much closer, observed no taste and so stated. He even tasted some of the crystals and assured Dr. Noller they were tasteless but Dr. Noller was equally certain it was the dust he tasted. He tried some of the crystals and found them extremely bitter. With these two diverse observations as a starting point, a large number of people were investigated and it was established that this peculiarity was not connected with age, race or sex. Men, women, elderly persons, children, negroes, Chinese, Germans and Italians were all shown to have in their ranks both tasters and non-tasters.

As a non-taster myself, I'm predisposed towards feeling particularly resentful when it comes to supertasters and all the little perks they enjoy. Still, it's interesting to think that had this accidental discovery never happened, we might have been entirely unaware of the modern day mutants walking among us, just like normal people. [The Atlantic]

Picture: Shutterstock/Tania Zbrodko


    Similar situation with me, but with smell. There's an Australian plant called a Boronia, and my wife and I bought one in flower once. When we came in from work in the evening, she used to be so thrilled by the aroma that the flowers spread throughout the house. I could smell absolutely nothing. Not even if I stuck my nose right into the flowers themselves. They just smelled of "generic plant". Have not encountered this with anything else, be they flowers, food, garbage, gas leakage, etc... and my sense of smell is, to the best of my knowledge, completely normal otherwise.

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