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Sensing the World Around You

by Ron Kurtus (updated 18 May 2023)

The way we determine what is in the world around us is by detecting and processing different signals or forms of energy through our senses.

Humans seem to be able to sense at least eight forms of energy. What is sensed in each is limited to a narrow bandwidth. The human senses also require a sufficient amount of energy to work properly.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Sensing different forms of energy

Most textbooks say that humans have only 5 senses. There are actually several more senses that have been overlooked.

Five basic senses

The five basic senses, the energy form detected, and their related body parts are:

  1. Sight - Light energy detected through the eyes
  2. Hearing - Sound energy detected by the ears
  3. Smell - Chemical energy and shape of molecules detected by the nose
  4. Taste - Chemical energy detected by the tongue
  5. Touch - Pressure energy detected by the skin

Extra senses

There are several senses that are often overlooked.

Going beyond our imagination

There are energy forms that only some people seem to be able to sense.

(NOTE: Is it possible that humans might also be able to detect electric and magnetic fields, except that our ability is too weak to notice it? See Sensing Another's Aura.)

We are really limited by what we experience. There may be ways to communicate that are beyond our present imagination. There may be physical senses of which we are not aware. There also may be mental or psychic senses that we can learn to use.

6th sense

But we also can sense the passing of time. This is done by the observation of events that are expending energy. What is unusual about this sense is that people and animals seem to be about to sense future events.

People have had dreams or feelings that something was going to happen. Animals have be able to predict earthquakes and tsunami waves.

We have designated the sensing of time, especially future or past events as the 6th sense

Scientists debate whether such a sense really exists. For more about it, see Your 6th Sense and Beyond.


We sense the world outside our bodies through detecting energy or other forms of communication. We have at least 8 senses, although they are limited in their energy bandwidth. There may even be other senses of which we are not even aware.

Stop to smell the roses

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Senses topics

Sensing the World Around You

Senses topics

Basics of senses

Standard five senses







Added senses


6th Sense

Electrical fields

Magnetic fields

Gravity field

Other possible senses

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