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11-Year-Old Nepalese Girl Claims She Can Recognize Colors by Smell

Deepti Regmi, an 11-year-old girl from Nepal, spontaneously developed a peculiar ability last year. She is, inexplicably, able to smell colors, and can supposedly even identify them while blindfolded. Although she does not have an official diagnosis, her ability appears to be related to the sensory phenomena known as synaesthesia.

Synaesthesia causes the person’s senses to become confused, causing sensation to one sensory input (such as the eyes) to stimulate sensation in another (the nose). This is what causes Deepti to smell color, and others to visualize color when they hear music, or to taste flavors when they hear certain sounds. Any combination of this sensory “cross-wire” is possible however, and not at all limited to the examples above.

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The Man Who Tastes Sounds

Meet James Wannerton, an Englishman with an incredibly rare ability to taste sound. That might seem absurd, but it is very much a reality for people with a condition called synaesthesia, which causes senses that are usually separate to intermingle.

Even as a young boy, James always experienced an involuntary taste on his tongue every time he heard a sound. Hearing the name Anne Boleyn in History class, for example, gave him a strong flavor of pear drops. He associated most of the British monarchs with a specific taste, making it easy for him to remember facts and events. His word-taste associations always helped him do better in school.

As he grew older, James found that his unique ability helped him in other aspects of life too. His relationships were all too delicious – he chose his companions not because of their looks or personality, but based on how their names felt on his taste buds. His schoolmates often had a strong essence of sliced potatoes and strawberry jam, while his dates’ names tasted like┬áslices of rhubarb and melted wine gums.

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