National Geographic : 2016 Aug
Us EXPLORE PHOTOS: EGGLESTON ARTISTIC TRUST/CHEIM & READ (TOP); TAMARA THOMSEN, MARITIME PRESERVATION AND ARCHAEOLOGY PROGRAM, WISCONSIN HISTORICAL SOCIETY Us EXPLORE The plane has reached cruising altitude, and flight attendants are moving down the aisle, taking drink orders. Suddenly tomato juice—or maybe even a Bloody Mary—sounds delicious. Just a random craving? Not necessar- ily, says Robin Dando, Cornell University assistant professor of food science. The high decibel level in the cabin inter- feres with how people perceive taste. The palate registers sweets such as soft drinks less intensely, while the taste known as umami is heightened. Thirsty passengers may find they yearn specifi- cally for something rich and savory, and they frequently choose tomato juice. In fact, the German airline Lufthansa esti- mates people consume about as much tomato juice as beer aboard its flights. Oxford University psychologist Charles Spence, who studies how senses interact, says the phenomenon isn’t unique to aircraft. Other loud envi- ronments can also alter taste percep- tion, he says—which may explain why dinner at a noisy restaurant doesn’t al- ways hit the spot. —Catherine Zuckerman In Flight, Off Taste NOMINATE A NEW MARINE PRESERVE For the first time, you can suggest areas in U.S. waters for con- sideration as new marine sanctuaries. In the past, government entities nominated sites such as California’s Channel Islands and the Florida Keys. Now the Obama Administration has opened the process to the public. Proposed areas must have significant biological or historical value, says Matt Brookhart, acting deputy director for National Marine Sanctuaries at NOAA, the agency that oversees the process. Two of the most recent active sanctuary proposals would protect historic shipwrecks, in Lake Michigan off southeastern Wisconsin (right) and in the Potomac River in Maryland. The input from the public “ has been great,” says Brookhart. “ We are doing this for future generations.” —Brian Clark Howard To nominate a site, visit www.nominate.noaa.gov.