Stick Out Your Tongue Day
Also known as
National Stick Out Your Tongue Day
annually on July 19th
The tongue, a muscle that helps with eating and speaking, is usually hidden from sight. But today there is no need to hide it—it's Stick Out Your Tongue Day! The day can be interpreted in a few ways. It may be a day to stick out your tongue at people, it may be a day to stick out your tongue while at the doctor's office, or it may be a day to attempt to do things that you find difficult to do.
Sticking out one's tongue at people is considered rude and childish in most cultures. Although, in Tibet, the gesture is seen as a polite greeting. Another place where it's acceptable to stick out a tongue is at the doctor's office, where doctors check tongues to detect signs of illness. A bright red tongue may indicate a B12 or folic acid deficiency, the presence of scarlet fever, or Kawasaki disease, which affects young children. White spots or a white coating may be a sign of a type of yeast infection called oral thrush, or it may be a sign of leukoplakia, which is a precursor to cancer. A hairy, black tongue may be showing bacterial overgrowth, and bumps on the tongue may be canker sores or oral cancer.
Tongues are made up of eight muscles, which intertwine and make a "flexible matrix" called a muscular hydrostat, which is a structure of muscles that operate separately from the skeleton. The average tongue is just over three inches in length, being measured from the flap on the back of it (epiglottis) to the tip. Currently, the Guinness World Record for the longest tongue is 3.97 inches. On average, adults have 2,000 to 4,000 taste buds. Some have as many as 8,000. Not visible to the human eye, taste buds help us sense things that are sweet, savory, sour, salty, and bitter. Bumps that are visible on the tongue are called papillae; they have about six or so taste buds buried in their surface tissue. Taste buds are also located on other places besides the tongue.
How to Observe Stick Out Your Tongue Day
Celebrate the day by sticking out your tongue! You could stick it out in a jocular manner at someone, or stick it out at someone who you can't stand! You could also stick out your tongue while visiting your doctor. Why not stop in and see them today and ask them to check out your tongue, or make an appointment to stick out your tongue for them soon? When texting or sending electronic messages today, you could send a tongue sticking out emoticon, which is made with a colon, dash, and capital P (:-P). There is also an emoji for it, ?. Finally, you could use the day to attempt to do something you see as being hard or difficult. Stick out your tongue and go for it!