Our bodies are incredibly complex and fascinating machines. With that being said, how much do you really know about your own body? Researchers and scientists are attempting to unravel the secrets of the human body through research, but it seems no matter how much or how long they spend researching, something new always pops up.
It’s hard to believe all the things that are happening inside our bodies right now! From producing enough saliva to fill two swimming pools, to shedding 40 pounds of skin, one thing is for sure… Our bodies are bizarre and you will be left marveled by some of the things it does.
Below is a list of 10 of the most astonishing facts about the human body.
10 10- Swallow & Breathe
Humans are the only mammal that cannot swallow and breathe at the same time. Any other animal in our world can breathe while they eat. When we are first born we can as well, hence why human infants can breathe while they nurse. However, we lose the ability to do both at the same time around 9 months of age. The reason for this is that our voice boxes drop low in our throats, which is unusual when compared with other animals. According to Discover magazine, having a low voice box is also why humans can resonate and produce a wide range of sound, but in doing so we lose our ability to drink or eat and breathe at the same time.
9 9- Amount of Saliva
During the course of their entire life, an average human produces enough saliva to fill two swimming pools. Per Livescience.com, this equals about two to four pints of spit every day. Humans have six major salivary glands and hundreds of minor ones. Our bodies produce the most saliva in the late afternoon, while making the least at night. It’s actually a good thing to have lots of saliva as it aids in dental health, and assists with food digestion. So keep on drooling!
8 8- Stomach acid
The acid in your stomach that helps you dissolve food is called hydrochloric acid, and boy does it pack a punch! Your stomach acid is so wicked powerful that it can dissolve razor blades. Here’s another example, according to howstuffworks.com, the acid in your stomach is so heavily concentrated that if you were to place a drop on a piece of wood, the acid would eat right through it. So how does our stomach not burn up or digest itself? Well, even though this acid is so tough that it can even dissolve zinc, it doesn’t destroy our stomach because the walls of the stomach continuously renew themselves. The cells in the stomach lining regenerate so rapidly that the acids don't have time to destroy them.
7 7- Skin
Our skin is the largest organ on our body, and an amazing one at that. According to Discover magazine, an average adult’s skin spans 21 square feet. Our skin is composed of several layers, and when new ones are formed they eventually make their way to the top. When skin cells reach the top, they die and are 'weathered' by the environment. Scientists estimate that skin has close to 1.6 trillion cells, and 30,000-40,000 of those cells fall off every hour. Meaning in a 24-hour time frame, you lose about a million skin cells. Here's more astonishing news- Each person will shed off close to 40 pounds of skin in his or her lifetime. I guess we can cut back on how much moisturizing we are doing since our skin is constantly dying off and re-growing itself.
6 6- Color Vision
Fact: Some women see more colors. A study took place at the University of California, which showed that up to 50% of women have four types of color receptors, rather than the typical three. In fact, a small percentage of women actually have 5 color receptors. Here’s an example- The average (normal) sighted person will look at a rainbow and see 7 different colors. Whereas someone with four receptors will see around 10 colors. So why women? It turns out that the red and green color receptors, which allow for a greater range of color vision, are found in the X (female) chromosome; blue is in the Y (male). In an interview in smithsonianmag.com a researcher states that “the nervous system that deals with color cannot be wired the exact same way in males as in females.”
5 5- Sperm
An average man’s testicles produce 10 million new sperm every day, and the average human ejaculate contains about 180 million sperm. This is enough to repopulate the whole planet in just 6 months!!! Eager for more sperm info? Well, a single sperm contains 37.5mb of male DNA, which is required to create a child. This means that the average ejaculation transfers 1,500 terabytes of information. According to cbsnews.com, 90% of the sperm found in a male’s ejaculate is deformed. We’re talking two heads, two tails, pin heads, huge heads, apparently the list goes on and on. And here’s one last tidbit about those super-swimmers- everydayhealth.com shares the “ingredients” of semen and how it’s a lot like orange juice! How you say? Well the list is rather interesting, sperm contains - Calcium, potassium, sodium, vitamin C, citric acid, fructose, nitrogen, chlorine, and many more.
4 4- Nasal Mucus
It’s been said that eating boogers may be good for you. Yeah… gross, but let’s hear the facts before we move on. Your boogers, or nasal mucus (they both sound unappealing), are designed to filter out contaminants. For that reason alone it was thought to be bad for you if eaten, but recent studies show eating your boogers may actually help boost your immune system. By introducing those contaminants in small amounts, you are training your body to learn and fight them off. A scientist told nydailynews.com that “it might serve as almost a natural vaccination.” But before you go sticking your fingers in your nose get this- You have more than likely already eaten many boogers. Nasal mucus accumulates in your nasal passages and often moves down your throat… yummy.
3 3- Bone Strength
Let’s face it, bones are incredibly important when it comes to a person’s overall health. They support us and protect our organs, and they have to be pretty strong to do that. According to researchers your thigh bone is stronger than concrete. Also, when it comes to supporting weight, the human bone is as strong as granite. For example, a block of bone the size of a matchbox car can support 9 tons, which is 4 times as much as concrete can support. Talk about impressive!
2 2- Fat & Blood Vessels
Ready for some shocking news? For every pound of fat gained, your body creates 7 new miles of blood vessels. Here’s an example- If you are 10 pounds overweight your heart has to pump blood through an additional 70 miles of blood vessels. This may put a strain on your heart, and reduce oxygenation and nutrient replenishment in other tissues. Healthcentral.com tells us that fat is a tissue that needs a constant supply of blood. There is good news though… If you lose a pound of fat, your body will break down and reabsorb the blood vessels because they are no longer needed. Now we know why obesity and heart disease are connected. Sounds like a pretty good reason to stick with that diet!
1 1- Survival
While it may appear fragile, the human body is actually pretty darn durable. As outrageous as it may seem, it’s possible to survive even with the removal of many of your body parts. According to livescience.com, the human body has several unneeded parts. We aren’t talking about your “typical” tonsils and wisdom teeth being removed either. So what can we afford to lose? The list is pretty shocking- You can survive with no stomach, appendix, gall bladder, spleen, and reproductive organs. But wait there’s more- The body can survive while missing 80% of the intestines, one kidney, one lung, your eyes, ears, and nose, and practically every organ located between the pelvic and groin area. Mind you, life will be far from easy without some of these organs, but it’s pretty fascinating to know our body can still function without them!