Bogeys or boogers are the bits of dried-up snot you find inside your nose. I get them, you get them, everybody gets them. You can get bogeys out by blowing your nose but my kids like to pick them out with their fingers and eat them – yuck!
But have you ever wondered what are bogeys for? Why do our bodies make them? What are they made of? And could eating bogeys actually be good for you?
Bogeys are made of dried-up mucus. (You might have another name for the wet mucus that comes out of your nose – in our house, we call it ‘snot’.) Your nose makes about 1-litre of the stuff every day!
Mucus is important stuff. It’s made inside the parts of your body that you use when you breathe and when you digest food you have eaten. Mucus is sticky and wet and it helps to keep these parts of your body moist. Inside your nose, mucus also traps any dirt, dust, germs (like viruses or bacteria) or pollen in the air that you breathe and stops them from getting into your lungs, where they could make you poorly.
When your nose mucus has trapped dirt and germs, it clumps together. Tiny hairs inside your nose push these clumps of dirty mucus towards your nostrils (the holes at front of your nose) where they dry out and become bogeys.
Because bogeys might have germs inside then, the best way to get them out of your nose is to blow them out into a tissue and throw the tissue in the bin. Then wash your hands. It’s best not to pick your nose because you might make it bleed. And if you get bogey germs on your fingers, you could then spread those germs to other parts of your body or to other people.
Mucus doesn’t have a colour but when dust and dirt gets trapped in it, they make it look dirty. If your bogeys are yellowy-green, it probably means you’ve got a cold. And if your bogeys look red or black, they might have dried-up blood in them – so stop picking your nose!
So, bogeys are good for us because they help us to breathe and digest food and they stop dirt and germs from making us poorly. But what about eating them – is eating our bogeys a good idea?
Well, some scientists think that eating bogeys could help to keep our bodies healthy. So, even if it doesn’t sound very yummy, eating your bogeys might not be as yucky as it seems after all. (My kids tell me their bogeys taste sweet…)
Fun fact: humans aren’t the only animals that make mucus. For example, slugs and snails produce mucus to help keep their bodies moist and make it easier to move around.
And if you enjoyed reading about nose bogeys, why not check out my earlier post about eye bogeys?!