Humans Have No Sense of Wetness — Only Temperature and Pressure

Human sensitivity to wetness plays a role in many aspects of our daily life. Whether feeling humidity, sweat, or a damp towel, we often encounter things that feels wet. Though it seems simple, feeling that something is wet is quite a feat because our skin doesn’t have receptors that sense wetness. The concept of wetness may be more of a perceptual illusion that our brain evokes based on our prior experiences with things we’ve learned are wet. So, how do we know when we’ve walked through a puddle or sat on a wet seat? Researchers say that wetness perception is connected to our ability to sense temperature, pressure and texture. Sensory nerves carry information about temperature, pressure and texture from the skin to the brain. When temperature decreases, our wet perception increases. In the end, scientists learned that our ability to sense wetness is a “learned” perception and not a biological one.