Everyday we (or at least many of us) take something for granted. It does so many different things for us on a daily basis. We have to do our best to make sure it’s kept in good condition, otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to function properly. Know what I’m talking about? I’m talking about our bodies.
Sometimes we take for granted how much our bodies do for us. Without our eyes, we wouldn’t be able to see. Without our ears, we wouldn’t be able to hear. Without our thumbs, we wouldn’t be able to pick things up. And we really do have to do our best to make sure our bodies function properly. We may eat carrots to improve vision. We may exercise to keep our hearts healthy. We only get one body, no do-overs, so we have to get it right the first time.
There’s a lot we already know about our human bodies; adults have 206 bones, kidneys to remove waste and extra fluid from our blood—we know plenty about our bodies. But there’s so much more information to our bodies that’s not widely-known. There are many amazing and shocking facts about our bodies that we would never believe. But this doesn’t mean that these facts are any less true. And knowing them just may mess with your understanding of how your body works. Check out this list of 15 chilling things about the human body that will make you question everything.
15. Human Bone Is As Strong As Granite
This one may be a little surprising considering how easy it is to break a bone or two. But despite how easily our human bones can break, they’re a lot stronger than you think. Even stronger than concrete. 14 percent of a person’s individual weight is comprised of his/her bones. They’re as strong as granite and are capable of supporting resistance. As a matter of fact, one bone the size of a matchbox can support a whopping 9 tons. That’s 18,000 pounds, four times the weight concrete can support. The thighbone (a.k.a. the femur), is the most resistant out of the bones in your body as it’s the longest and the strongest. Chances of it being fractured are rare, depending on the force being applied to it. It actually takes a lot of force for it to snap completely.
14. Your Body Produces 25 Million New Cells Each Second
Cell reproduction is fast. Really, really fast. It’s the reason why you can give blood without draining your circulatory system and why your knee can get scraped but get healed in a relatively short amount of time (though putting a band-aid on it speeds up the process a little). Depending on the type of the cell and where it’s located in the body determines how fast it produces. Skin cells reproduce the fastest because your skin takes more damage than the other cells. If not, your skin wouldn’t be able to heal as fast as it did and you would feel pain much more easily. This is one of the reasons why your body can make as many cells as it can. In fact, a staggering 25 million for every second. In 13 seconds, more cells are made than people in the US.
13. With The 60,000 Miles Of Blood Vessels Inside Your Body, You Could Travel Earth 2.5 Times
You probably never thought that those things your blood travels through could be so extensive, did you? There are three types of blood vessels: arteries, veins and capillaries. If all the blood vessels of one human being were laid out back-to-back in a straight line, they would be long enough to stretch around the world not only once, not only twice, but two and a half times. To put that into perspective for you, that’s about 60,000 to 100,000 miles, depending on the person. And age is irrelevant. Even though children are smaller than adults, their blood vessels are still long enough to circumnavigate the world two and a half times.
12. The Human Brain Can Read Up To 1,000 Words Per Minute
There are three types of reading: mental reading, auditory reading and visual reading. Mental reading is when you read inside your head like you’re reading to yourself. This is the slowest of the reading techniques, generally allowing for a speed of about 250 words a minute. Auditory reading is when you read aloud, which allows for a faster reading rate at about 450 words a minute. And then there’s visual reading, when you are able to comprehend the meaning of the word instead of sounding or hearing it. This is the fastest of the three reading techniques which allows one to read up to about 700 words a minute. But apparently, the human brain is capable of reading about 1,000 words. One speed reading guru, 74-year-old Tony Buzan, an internationally-renowned expert on speed reading and brain training, has mastered the techniques that let him to read 1,000 words a minute and has been more than eager to share his secrets.
11. Inside Your Belly Button Are Thousands Of Bacteria That Form A Huge Ecosystem
We all know that our bodies are full of bacteria. Good bacteria, I mean. Good bacteria, also known as probiotics, naturally live in our bodies and help them function. They aid in digesting food and are also capable of producing lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide which create unpleasant conditions for bad bacteria, provide relief for nausea, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and so much more. Without good bacteria, we wouldn’t be able to exist, much less function. But who would have guessed that we would have so much bacteria living inside of us? Thousands of bacteria are hanging out in our belly buttons and many of them are of different species from each other, depending on the individual. A rainforest is made up of a variety of different species, which is why scientists think of the inside of the belly button much like a rainforest.
10. A Full Head Of Human Hair Is Strong Enough To Support 12 Tons
Much like how the true strength of human bones was discussed above, human hair is stronger than you might think. The average human head holds about 150,000 hairs. A person’s hair generally grows half an inch a month, sometimes even more, depending on the person. Dr. Frederick Leroy from the London Museum of Natural History believes that those 150,000 hairs attached to our heads are strong enough to support 12 tons or 24,000 pounds. That’s the weight of two full-grown elephants. One human hair is strong enough to lift a small bottle of make-up, a travel-sized bottle of shampoo, or 3/8 of a cup. Maybe it’s not totally unrealistic for someone to be capable of climbing Rapunzel’s 70-foot long hair without putting strain on her scalp.
9. We Have The Same Amount Of Hair On Our Body As Chimpanzees
You may this find one a little hard to believe considering how many hairs a chimpanzee has, but this one is true. Our bodies contain the same amount of hairs found on a chimpanzee. There are as many hairs per square inch on a human body as there are on this particular species of primates. But unlike chimpanzees, most of our body hairs, from head to toe, are so fine or lightly-colored that they’re invisible and practically useless. Scientists have no idea for why our hair is like this. Some believe that the “protective fur” of early humans may have been in place to help them sweat more easily. Others think it may have been there to ward off against parasites such as lice and ticks. There are a couple of other theories as well, including one that says we have aquatic ancestors.
8. Humans Shed 40 Pounds of Skin In Their Lifetime, Completely Replacing Their Outer Skin Every Month
I suppose we’re more similar to snakes than we think. Our largest organ is our skin, which when extended has a surface area of 2 square meters. It weighs about 8.5 pounds, approximately 5% of our body weight. Furthermore, our skin is made up of two layers. The external layer is known as epidermis. It is made up of twenty to thirty rows of dead cells located one on top of the other like tiles on a roof. Every day our skin sheds thousands of dead skin cells, but it’s not something we would ever notice because the bottom germinative layer of our skin produces enough cells to replace the ones that fell off. If we were to weigh all the dead cells that fell off our bodies in our lifetimes, all together they would weigh 40 pounds.
7. If You Stretched Out The 300,000,000 Capillaries In Your Lungs From End To End, The Line Would Be About 1,300 Miles
Earlier, I said that if the blood vessels in our bodies were laid out, they could circumnavigate the world two and a half times. That includes your veins, arteries, and capillaries. Even on its own, your capillaries are impressive in length. Capillaries are responsible for aiding in the exchange of water, oxygen, carbon dioxide, and many other nutrients and waste products between the blood and tissue that surrounds them. While the capillaries are the smallest of the three blood vessel types, they are not to be estimated. One individual capillary is barely anything, but hundreds of millions of them? If it were possible for the 300,000,000 capillaries in our lungs to be stretched out, they would reach from Seattle to San Diego, which is about 1,300 miles.
6. Some Women See More Colors Than Everyone Else
Have you ever disagreed with someone of the opposite sex over what color something was? There’s a scientific reason for that. The average human being perceives a million different colors but some women can perceive a hundred times that amount. Cones, which are special neurons behind your retinas, convert incoming light into electrical signals that pretty much tell your brain what color or colors you’re seeing. Despite retinas containing millions of cones, in most humans, our cones typically fall into three categories. But a small percentage of women are capable of using more than the usual three cones which means they can see a wider array of colors. Thanks to a genetic mutation, tetrachromatic artist Concetta Antico can see 100 times more color than the average person. While we may see a leaf as dark green, she sees it as violet, turquoise and blue.
5. A Condition Called Synesthesia Can Cause Senses To Overlap
There’s actually some truth to the slogan for Skittles “taste the rainbow.” Some people can literally taste the rainbow. Said people have a neurological condition known as synesthesia in which stimulation of one sense leads to experiences in a totally different sense. This is how people are able to taste words, hear colors, see letters of numbers in color, associate sounds with shapes or textures, and more. 1 in 27 people have synesthesia, according to researcher Sean Day. Pastry chef Taria Camerino says she can taste music, colors, shapes, and even people’s emotions.
4. The Need To Breathe So Much Is Due To Carbon Dioxide Buildup
While it is generally believed that we as humans need oxygen to breathe, it’s less to do with an actual need for oxygen and more to do with needing to get rid of the excess amounts of carbon dioxide in our bodies. Inhaling brings fresh oxygen into our lungs, which is absorbed into our bloodstreams and hauled throughout our bodies. As blood circulates to our lungs, it carries with it carbon dioxide by-products from our systems. The carbon dioxide is discharged from the blood in our lungs and then released when we exhale. When you feel the need to breathe, what you’re actually feeling is the need to exhale all that carbon dioxide sitting around in your lungs. And if we could find another way to get rid of carbon dioxide from the blood, we would only have to breathe once per minute.
3. Along With The Five Traditional Senses, Humans Have 15 “Other Senses”
We’re taught from a young age that we only have five senses—sound, sight, touch, smell, and taste. But that’s one of the biggest myths about ourselves that we believe. We have more than five traditional senses. While there is no exact count on just how many senses we have due to differing opinions on what makes a sense a sense, it’s fair to say that we have five traditional senses and more than 20 non-traditional senses. The other non-traditional senses we have include proprioception, which includes spatial orientation and movement, temperature, pain, vibration, time, hunger, and senses linked to detecting pressure and chemical balances. There are even largely unexplored senses that scientists are still working on uncovering such as the ability to detect electric fields like sharks and birds can.
2. Our Brain’s Connected Neurons Look Similar To The Structure Of The Universe
Ever seen a structure of how the universe looks? If you have, then you know what exactly the structure of your brain looks like. Surprisingly enough, our human brains have very similar patterns to the patterns of the universe. Researchers have found that the connections in our brains are remarkably organized, neurons traveling in different directions on many different pathways. Our brains, and the universe, both evolve the same exact way. Some scientists believe that the universe is encoded in our brains and that this information could lead to scientific breakthroughs in quantum psychics and cosmic knowledge. Read into the theories long enough and you will feel your brain hurting as it tries to process all the information.
1. Some People Can Detect Ultraviolet Light
The human eye naturally filters out ultraviolet rays. However, some people are capable of seeing UV light. Such people have what is known as an absence of the lens of the eyes due to surgical removal. The reasons for this removal include a perforating injury or ulcer or a natural anomaly. Renowned painter and founder of French impressionist painting Claude Monet, was one of these people with aphakia. He developed cataracts later in his life but all treatments to remove the cataracts failed. At the age of 82, the lens on his left eye were completely removed, letting Monet see colors he never saw before. Where to most people waterlily flowers appear white, to Monet they were a whitish-blue, making his paintings much more unique than others.