This is the surface of the human tongue, under a coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). The spiky cones are backward facing projections called filiform papillae, which sense pressure. The filiform papillae don’t contain taste buds but are the most numerous of the papillae, covering most of the dorsum (upper surface). The papillae have a scaly appearance because they are constantly shedding their top layer of skin.
Image from Science Photo Library