Welcome to Ask Professor Labcoat where Children’s Museum of Atlanta answers YOUR science questions!

Our friend Stacey wants to know what is snot?

You might think it’s a booger but it’s snot! . . . A little mucous humor, anyone?

Kate (Professor Labcoat), our brilliant, curious and delightful Science Educator, gave this answer:

What we call snot is really a kind of goopy liquid called mucous. This stuff is everywhere inside our bodies. It keeps our organs from rubbing against each other, keeps our eyes from drying out, and generally keeps things moving smoothly.  

The inside of your nose is covered in a thin layer of mucous. Its main job is to catch dust, pollen, dirt, harmful germs, or anything else that doesn’t belong inside of your body. The mucous clumps up around these invaders and… ACHOO! Your nose shoots out the clump in the form of a big booger! 

When you have a cold or allergies, your nose and face can feel stuffy. There is a gap in the bones of your face between your nose and cheeks called the sinus cavity. When bad germs attack your body through your nose, your body makes extra mucous. It clumps up inside the sinuses to try to keep the germs from spreading.  

Snot may be gross, but it’s just another part of your body doing its job to keep you healthy! Thanks, body!

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