Synesthesia is the fascinating neurological phenomenon whereby stimulation of one sense involuntarily triggers another sensory pathway. For example, some synesthetes can "hear" colors or shapes. Henry Gray has a particularly lexical-gustatory synesthesia—spoken words trigger can trigger the sensation of tastes or smells for him. In the TikTok clip below, Gray recounts when he was a university student and had to find a new dormitory because some of the other residents' names were insufferable for him.
"Duncan smells like a burp after eating smoky bacon crisps," Gray says. "Kirstie is like a murky piss smell, and Elijah is like licking an eyeball. I couldn't form a friendship with them and I couldn't live with them so I had to change accommodations."