People Break Down Which Things Exist But Cannot Be Observed With Our Five Senses
Ryoji Iwata/Unsplash

Let's get existential ... and argumentative.

Because this is internet, people, why are you acting like you don't know what we're here for?

Reddit user Due_Abrocoma6874 asked:

"What exists, but can't be sensed with our 5 senses?"

Which means what was intended as an exploration into the ephemeral took a sudden detour into semantics city.

Because Reddit is Reddit.


"Magnetism, extremely powerful (it saves us from the Sun) but you can't tell it's there unless you have something to tell you. I work in a electric motor shop and have to stick my hand in +4,000 horse power motors with dummy rotors to test them. I'm probably shooting blanks now, my 2nd answer, infertility."

- Padmei

"I think you're confusing the effects of ionizing radiation with magnetism. Strong magnetic fields have absolutely no effects on humans; MRIs are a perfect example. However, working with radioactive materials or near x-ray sources can kill irreplaceable cells in the reproductive organs of both sexes."

- Jenyweny09

"Hence the burning question, 'F*cking Magnets, How Do They Work??' "

- saruin

"Interesting job, bad answer."

"Look I'm not a 'magnestist' here, just an electrician which I guess could be one of the next closest jobs. But thats like saying you can't use any of our senses to sense gravity."

"Ever seen an object get affected by a magnet? That's sensing magnetism through our sense of 'sight'. Ever held something near a magnet - or even a magnet itself since you can feel the repllent aspect of the force as well? That is sensing magnetism through our sense of 'touch'."

"When anyone cops a belt (sparky for an electric shock) whether it be licking a 9v battery, touching live 240v conductors or even getting struck by lightning; we are feeling the electromagnetically energised positive protons and negative electrons trying to balance themselves out. We literally feel our body experience magnetism."

"Hahaha I did have a laugh at your second answer though that's probably true"

- sheppo42

"Actually, both of those are the effects of magnetism. We can't sense magnetic force, just what it causes."

- Mori_564

Season 3 Smoking GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy

It's Technically Hearing, But We Get It.

"The difference between an awkward silence and regular silence"

- Jeutnarg

"YES! Have a freebie!"

- Sticketoo_DaMan

"I choose not to ever consider silence to be awkward silence and i encourage others to do the same. Yeah it's some corny sigma male sh*t but it's really made my conversations more enjoyable"

- maxverstrappin

"Once knew a guy who was having difficulties with a co-worker. HR finally just told them not to talk to each other. A week later HR spoke to him because the other guy whined about him being 'aggressively silent'. Like wtf?"

- II_Confused

"bro speaking facts"

- holdupdindindindin

"It is a regular silence until you mention the silence. Then it is an awkward silence."

- nellucd

Getting Metaphysical

"Most of reality."

- hydraxl

"And yet some brilliant humans have been able to make many of the insensible things visible through their inventions. It’s incredible how many things are known even when we’re unable to detect it without devices."

- TheYeti4815162342

"I thought this was a dark matter reference at first."

"Most of the universe is dark matter, but we can't see it, touch it, smell it, or interact with it in any way with our senses."

- stevey_frac

"This is perhaps the best and, simultaneously, most frightening answer."

"If we had 10 more senses and 1000 more IQ points we still wouldn't be able to experience even a fraction of reality."

- pezdal

"This 100%."

"Here's a rough list of things that are currently all around you but you don't know is there:"

"Countless air molecules such as oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen"

"Light (EM spectrum) outside of our range. Radio signals from cell phones, routers, towers, planes, etc. Xrays and gamma rays from upper atmosphere particle interactions and distant stars."

" Billions and billions of neutrinos produced by the sun that penetrate the earth (and your body of course)."

" Radioactive emissions from various natural decaying elements including Carbon"

"14 found in pretty much anything with Carbon (such as your body). Also Potassium such as in Bananas."

" Billions of bacteria and viruses all over everything."

" That Klingon Warbird decloaking off starboard!"

- salbris


"Nuclear radiation, plus neutrinos - they go right through us."

- Ghostforever7

"Apparently it tastes like metal when there is a lot of radiation tho"

- luminaxed

"Astronauts said they could see flashes of light through their closed eyelids, so not all radiation"

"But I do agree with neutrinos"

- FrankMiner2949er

"Technically you could sense neutrinos since they could hypothetically interact with the liquid inside your eyes, but that happens so rarely and our eyes are so small that statistically it will never happen for anyone ever."

- Moikle

fox artists on tumblr GIF by Animation Domination High-DefGiphy

You Have To Imagine The Flavor

"The different flavors of La Croix."

- Tantra_Charbelcher

"La Croix flavors aren’t real, you read the can or see the color and it tricks your brain into thinking there is a flavor. I’m convinced this is true and nothing anyone says can change my mind."

- megapuffranger

"Wait... La Croix has flavors? I thought it was just different can colors"

- Tips__

"Ha! I have a buddy that always said La Croix is like drinking sparkling water while someone on the other end of the house whispers the word grapefruit."

- mrausgor

"It tastes like TV static"

- chealey21

Soda Water Summer GIF by LaCroix Sparkling WaterGiphy

Tricky Brain

"Magenta. Your brain makes it up"

- TrulyTynixo

"I'll take it if seeing it as grey is the only alternative."

"Crap how many things that we perceive as grey are actually exciting colours? I know certain birds, insects and marine life can see a wider scope of colours than we can."

- Chromattix

"I am so confused. I know exactly what magenta is but I googled it and there are no wavelengths? Is life a lie?"

- K_Xanthe

"Technically your brain makes up all colors and sight. I think what you are saying though is that there isn't a specific wavelength range that the brain directly converts to magenta. Actually now that I think of it, I'm not sure what that weird fact is about. I'll have to read more about it."

- c_c_c_c_c_c_d

"Even crazier than Magenta are the impossible colors which can only be perceived temporarily via an optical illusion."

" 'Stygian Blue' is a shade of blue that's darker than black."

" 'Hyperbolic Orange' is a shade of orange that's even more orange than orange."

"The 'self luminous' colors look like brighter-than-white glowing pastels."

"They're kind of trippy."

- Cybyss


"Carbon monoxide. Unless dying counts as a sense."

- Rampant_baconator

"All gasses except for CO2 are undetectable to the human body. Not just CO"

- Rotor_Tiller

"Even CO2 is undetectable. It has the EXACT SAME symptoms as every other gas. An impending sense of doom, hallucinations(usually scary and violent) and finally random bouts of unconsciousness getting worse as the volume increases but thats hypoxia as well so..."

- MutedAd7206

"What I mean is that CO2 is the pretty much the only gas that the lungs evolved specifically to reject. A lung full of CO2 is always going to burn and generally feel suffocating although I don't have enough experience with colder co2 vapors to know what those might feel like."

- Rotor_Tiller

"If it's a lung of PURE CO2 yeah but in the toxic level you won't notice it cause it's not lethal."

- MutedAd7206

"Why is this so far down on the list?"

- alleghenysinger

sleepy homer simpson GIFGiphy

I Got A Feeling Somebody's Watching Me

"When you’re being watched. You can’t hear, see, touch, taste or smell who or what is watching you. You just kinda… know 👁👁"

- Tobester2005

"I've heard that your peripheral vision is exceedingly good at detecting eyes. It doesn't tell you exactly where but it alerts that 'being watched' feeling. Technically still sight."

- Spyblox007

"Typically, the reason for this is because your brain has picked up on something that isnt quite right, wether its silence, or the absence of something thats usually there, but most times, you can't tell what that thing is, but you know something isnt right"

- helpmylifeis_a_mess

"My buddy went hiking on Vancouver Island a few years ago and told me he had that exact feeling directly behind him. Turned around and a mountain lion was staring at him from a distance."

- eddieswiss

"You can you just don't know you can. You as a being are too focused on random bullshit than on surviving its why we have a part of the brain DEDICATED TO THREAT DETECTION. It's called your subconscious or Instincts. Instincts are useful because they give you that gut feeling and deal with your reflexes. If you've ever gotten into a fight and grabbed a rock or something without thinking about it it was Instincts. If you've ever felt paranoid or afraid of the dark despite being 30 years old and having gotten over it that's Instincts. If you've ever looked at a ledge and thought about jumping off that's Instincts telling you have terrifyingly bad an idea that is(something to do with monkey brain and judging distances you can fall from safely)"

- MutedAd7206

Interested George Clooney GIFGiphy

Existential Question

"Depends what you mean by "sensed". If I look at a video feed from a satellite at the far end of the Moon, am I seeing the far end of the Moon? If I look at a picture of distant galaxies imaged in infrared, watch a vapor trail in a particles experiment, listen to a sonification of data, feel a building tremble in an earthquake, do I sense these existing things?"

"What is allowed to be between myself and the existing 'thing', to still call it sensing? Do the instruments have to be part of my body? What about glasses? Implanted lenses? Hearing aids? Skin grafts?"

"Regardless of your answer, the only thing I would say with some certainty exists, but cannot be sensed, is the future (some future) because the laws of physics forbid time travel in that direction.."

- grismar-net

"I would argue that time in that sense doesn’t even really count as existing. It’s more of an abstraction or summary of the interaction between existent things in space (spacetime would be a better way to think about it)."

"Not one thing can be said to exist without the claim being dependent on the senses."


Not Your Typical Wave

"Most radio waves"

- brock_lee

"More like the entire electromagnetic spectrum apart from visible light and infrared."

- Mems1900

"Up to a certain amplitude but eventually … cooked 😂"

- CutAccording7289

"Most light aka most of the electromagnetic spectrum. In fact we can't sense any radio waves at all, not with our human senses anyway, as the OP asked."

- c_c_c_c_c_c_d

"I was going to say WiFi, but that is also an electromagnet wave."

- met3_1

Now that you've argued your way through some Redditors thoughts, let's argue more in the comments.

What do you know exists even though you can't exactly perceive it?

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I may not be popular for saying this, but I think comedy is the best form of entertainment.

However, it’s not always easy to find great comedy.

There are lots of comedians who make me smile or even make me laugh at a joke or two. Yet, it’s really hard to find a comedian who can keep me laughing through their whole set.

If you’re having trouble finding those kinds of comedians, or are just ready to find a new comedian to enjoy, Redditors are here to help.

Probably hoping to find a great comedian themself, Redditor Plastic_Ad_6179 asked:

"Who's the best comedian of all time in your opinion?"

Sean Lock

"Sean Lock"

"For many reasons, but mainly for being the undisputed champion of the world in...Carrot In A Box:"

– Rymundo88

"What a HUGE talent. Luckily he left a lot of great footage. Terrible loss."

– Pan-tang

"The comedians comedian"

– FrederickBishop

George Carlin

"George Carlin."

"Honorable mention to Bill Burr."

– gobigred3562

"When I turned 21, my mom took me to Vegas. We saw Carlin perform and we laughed solidly for 90 minutes. I don’t remember any of the jokes, but I have never laughed like that since. He was a true master of the art."

– drCrankoPhone

"Carlin is the only correct answer. Nobody will ever touch that level of wit, wordplay, satire, and social commentary."


– reflUX_cAtalyst

Mike Birbiglia

"I went to a Mike Birbiglia show at Zanies in Nashville back in 2008. Guy killed…got up on stage, told 1 story. Took him 90 minutes to get through that story. The whole time, he’s veering off on tangents that seemed completely natural, conversational even. Each tangent was a tiny hilarious story itself. The show seemed so smooth and flowed so naturally, that I could hardly believe it was written. It was masterful. Sure, he doesn’t tell jokes that leave you breathless with laughter, but he does tell jokes that get 90% of the way there with such consistency that I’m actually more impressed with that than the former."

– mavol

Norm MacDonald

"In terms of:"

  • "Being at the top of his game for a long period of time"
  • "Being perfect at timing and execution"
  • "Understanding comedy to a degree that other comedians notice and respect"
  • "Being clever and witty on the spot"
  • "Having memorable jokes and killer standup routines"

"Norm MacDonald"

– warpus

"My favorite story about Norm MacDonald I've heard is that when he was coming up if he bombed he'd wait in the back of the club after the show to shake everyone's hand in their way out. If he killed he wouldn't. What a legend."

– SixPieceTaye

"If you asked a group of comedians who their favorite comedian is I'd bet Norm would be near the top of the list. So much of his material was a deconstruction of comedy itself. If Norm MacDonald tells you a bad joke, and you laugh, is it still a bad joke? Why is it funny? Are you laughing at him or is he laughing at you?"

– foldingcouch

Mitch Hedberg

"Mitch Hedberg. RIP."

– onepotatotwopotato3

"I used to love that guy. I still do but I used to too."

– ChefHannibal

""I got in an argument with a girlfriend inside of a tent. That’s a bad place for an argument, because I tried to walk out, and had to slam the flap.""

""F**k you, zzzzzzzzzzip""

– StarktheGuat

Monty Python

"Monty Python, as a group."

"I don't think there's been a single more influential comedy act than Flying Circus."

– EarlyBirdsofBabylon

"I agree with it just because it’s one of the few non-American mentions here. People seriously think that humor ends on American Stand Up and television…"

"Also Monty Python is ALWAYS funny"

– RockThePlazmah

Robin Williams

"Robin Williams."

– Flicksterea

"Live on Broadway stands as one of the most memorable things I have ever watched."

– Grimlock64

"Idk why he isn’t higher on this list or mentioned more often. Robin Williams had absolutely insane improv skills. Watch the episode of Who’s Line with him as the guest star, the rest of the cast can’t keep it together."

– _xXmyusernameXx_

Lucille Ball

"Lucille Ball"

– LusciousofBorg

"Scrolled this far to find a female comedian! Love Lucille Ball"

– boonybun

"I saw I Love Lucy was streaming a couple months ago. Having watched it as a kid, I figured I’d put it on for a nostalgic chuckle. I was not ready for that show to be so, so funny—I nearly passed out I was laughing so hard."

– mypantsareawesome

"She was a comedic genius."

– DrWorm_DD

Rowan Atkinson

"Rowan Atkinson (John Cleese closely second)"

– DarkFluids777

"Atkinson is such an amazing physical comedian that it’s basically overlooked that he’s a first-rate stand-up, as well."

– HilariousSpill

Eddie Murphy

"Eddie Murphy"

– onterrible1

"He saved SNL. They wouldn't be on air today were it not for Murphy"

– Blackgurlmajik

"Goat of comedy"

– IndependenceScary644

Comedy may not be everyone’s favorite form of entertainment, but it is a can’t miss, so long as the comedian in question is a good one.

Luckily, we’ve got some great suggestions above.