Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Nose Knows

We just received a new question for our Ask Doc & The Mountain Cat Advice Section.

The question comes from fellow blogger Micky-T (

He asks: Would like to know if there is a difference between snot and boogers. Are they one and the same, or is snot the juicy stuff and boogers the chunky bits?

It is a wonderful question Micky-T which has a long history behind it.

Firstly, yes snot is more of a liquid substance per the research I found in Encyclopedia Britannica. The scientific term of snot is actually called Snotseptum Membranus. Hence, snot for short. A booger is more of a solid substance. The word booger is Latin for nasal blockage per Wikapedia.

Snot is more likely formed in lower elevations and damp climates while boogers are more like formed in higher mountainous areas with lots of dry air per Health Weekly.

But snot and boogers have a very long history. Per National Geographic, the ancient Incas used to save their snot and boogers as seasoning for their celebratory feast when they slaughtered ox and cattle.

However, the turn of the century American Industrial Revolution saw a snot and booger famine. Too much saw dust and steel iodine in the air prevented people from producing snot and boogers. Which eventually led to the Great Depression. (This is per the research I found in the Ladies Home Journal).

Finally, snots and boogers have been the subject of many novels and poems. Ernest Hemingway was supposedly fascinated by snots and boogers and once wrote in his initial draft of his novel To Have and Have Not that, ‘To snot is human but to booger is divine.’

- The Mountain Cat


Franklin Q. Baughndeaux said...

ah, but his does not resolve the ever-burning question...are they the same? I submit that, just as a raisin and a grape are essentially the same, so it is with snot and boogers. Let us not forget this time-tested bit of wisdom: "The booger they come, the harder they fall"

Franklin Q. Baughndeaux said...

...and I do believe the title of the novel was 'To Have and Have Snot'!

Jay said...

I think you have the topic for your next blog poll.

"The Great Snot Debate of 2008"

Hell, it even rhymes!! haha

micky-T said...

Thanks Mt. Cat, that about covers it for me, although I now have this vision in my mind of an Inca slave serving a big juicy steak at the feast and saying," shall I season your steak masta?"

Odat said...

Well I'm so glad you straightened that out! ;-)
I have a pug dog that everyone calls
(thanks for the visit).

Franklin Q. Baughndeaux said...

the Incas must of had rilly big holes in their pepper shakers....

The Mama Bear said...

You astound me with your ability to have such insight to topics a mom really hates to discuss ;)

Anonymous said...

MC, You are off the hook! You come up with stuff I could never think about ever thinking about!!


Micky-T said...

As a newbie to the likes of Mountain Cat and that Doctor guy, I, Micky-T, take full responsibility for bringing this subject matter to their attention.

It doesn't seem to be a very popular subject, but I know, deep down that every single person reading this knows what the taste of a booger is!

Whip me!
Beat me!
Make me write bad checks!

Franklin Q. Baughndeaux said...

...and I WAS having linguine and clams tonight!

Doc said...


Good one Vin!

Bina said...

My brother would LOVE this scientific explanation of the things in his nose.

I, however, wish I would have waited until my breakfast digested. I have to go to the bathroom now!

The Mountain Cat said...

Thank you everyone. I love your comments!

Leighann said...

If I had a dime for every booger I've ever seen in my house, I'd be one rich bitch!

micky-t said...

Hey Leighann, with four kids it's easy to believe that.

The subject has had my interest ever since a friend admitted that while driving, if he got one of those, stick to your finger kind, he had a place under the left side of his seat that he know, get rid of it!

It really grossed me out, but made me think of the rest of humanity and how each individual might deal with their own boogers!

Why is this subject so... Taboo?

frankie bondo said...

I was recently informed by my daughter's boyfriend that he has it on good authority that if one was to deposit a booger on the floor of one's house,it would evetually be totally consumed by the omnipresent dust mites therein said house. Does anyone else find this comforting?