I was discussing some dumb things with my friend and I realized I have no idea how air actually works.
Specifically I wanted to know what air tastes like. Or what it would taste like if I wasn’t already familiar with it...
Also is it possible to turn air into a paste-like substance?
What would air paste taste like???
Its one in the morning.. I cant sleep. I Have to know.
- someone who shouldn’t stay up this late.
- MordentLv 76 months agoFavorite Answer
We cannot taste gasses because of the way the tongue works. If something doesn't bind to saliva we can't taste it.
However we can smell them. Seems like a pretty obvious statement, but there you go. Smell and taste are closely related because of something called 'cross modality' or the linking of two senses, it's why everything tastes pretty bland when you have a cold. The sensation of taste is itself quite strange. If you gave someone a coke and said 'can you taste the bubbles' they would presumably say yes - but CAN they? No - the bubbles don't actually taste of anything, but you can feel them very strongly. The rather disturbing phrase 'mouthfeel' is extremely important to taste. Would you like a michelin star meal if it'd been blendered to a paste? Not very much.
Unfortunately air is primarily composed of inert nitrogen - it is completely odorless as well. Experiments have been performed where some people can tell the difference between oxygen and air - oxygen is described as being slightly acidic. Whether this is because it actually IS, or because the oxygen was reacting with something in their body to produce an acidic taste is unclear.
Could we turn air into a paste? Maybe not a paste, but you can easily make it into a liquid - although you wouldn't want to drink it. To make air liquid you'd need to chill it to at least -195 (the boiling point of nitrogen).
Alternatively you could try eating aerogel (which is a solid that has been made FROM a gel, not a gel itself) - it's 99.8% air. However you'd simply taste the silicon solid part (which itself doesn't really have a taste), the rest would simply be like having a mouthful of air.
As for 'how would it taste if you're not familiar with it' that is a philosophical question. It is due to something called 'the explanatory gap', or the old 'how do we know that what you see as green is the same as what I see as green' thought beloved by 9 year old children and stoners everywhere. Whether the 'quale' or idea of green is the same or not is impossible to say. We can't really communicate quales to each other, which is why you could never explain colour to someone who's been blind since birth.
- busterwasmycatLv 76 months ago
Air has a "taste", much like water has a taste, but mostly what we taste is the stuff that is not expected, like salt, or sulfur. The non nitrogen-oxygen stuff (for air) and the non-H2O stuff (for water). The "contaminants". We taste those because they could make the water or air be poisonous for us. Oddly, we do not detect (smell/taste) some deadly contaminants like carbon monoxide. Inert gases, sure, that makes sense, but CO is pretty deadly so you would think the body would have developed a way to detect it. I suppose it is too similar to O2 for us to tell the difference.
Taste and smell are closely related so hard to truly talk about them as separate things. I "taste" sulfur in the air, myself. I also smell it, but I can definitely taste it.
Could you make a paste from air? Not very easily. You could "pastify" air by adding paste stuff, but the paste would still be the paste, not the air. You could, I suppose, cool air down enough that it took on a semi-liquid semi-solid "paste", but that would be darn cold stuff or very high pressure stuff. Probably more a slurry than a paste.
It is not really a case of familiarity that causes pure air (or water) to lack a unique taste. It is that we have no detection system to detect its taste, because otherwise it would dominate our tastes and interfere with tasting (smelling) things that matter. Sort of like why we don't feel ourselves moving through space as the earth turns. If we did, it would fill our brain with that sensation.
You can also become habituated to common smells or tastes, and learn to ignore them (like how city dwellers tend to not notice the sour stench of unburned hydrocarbons; "smog"), but that isn't really what happens when it comes to air.
- ?Lv 76 months ago
Air doesn't have a taste, and cannot be turned into a paste like substance. The closest you could come would be to chill the composite gases down to a liquid state, and given that both liquid nitrogen and liquid oxygen are supercooled cryogenic liquids, tasting either of these would be fatal.