Last night at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum’s inaugural MAAsive Lates Refraction was privileged to watch the bizarre and cringe worthy circus trick of hammering a long nail into your nasal passageway, a stunt known as the human blockhead.
Herewith several reasons NOT to try this at home!
1. Your nasal passageway is the mucus-coated defence gateway for harmful particles of bacteria and dust that you inhale. Mucus traps these particles and the cells of the mucus membrane move these particles to the throat where we swallow them safely into the vat of acid that is our stomach. It’s one of those beautifully evolved systems of the human body that you wont miss until you mess with it!
2. It’s difficult not to sneeze while attempting this trick as it provokes your sneeze reflex by irritating the nasal passage. A sudden intake of breath while snorting in a nail or a sudden head movement could have serious health consequences and ruin the act!
3. It’s incredibly easy to damage this passageway; according to medical dictionary a force of just 30 g can fracture your nasal bones – far less than the tap of a hammer.
4. It’s really really hard to watch without your hands over your face (as I did). But if you’d like to, here’s a link!