Interesting Facts About the Body: 20 Things You Didn’t Know, But ShouldArticle posted in: Lifestyle
The human body is an amazing thing. Even a bit strange, you might say, after reading these 20 science-based, interesting facts about the body:
1. That “butterfly” feeling you get when your emotions are in high gear is really your gut acting as your “second brain.”
Your gut contains neurons—more than 100 million of them! This “enteric nervous system hosts a variety of neurotransmitters responsible for sending and receiving messages from your brain. Imagine that! Your vagus nerve specifically sends information from your gut to your brain, not the reverse.
2. There are so many atoms in the human body it’s difficult to write out the number.
If you weigh 154 pounds, the number of atoms in your body would be represented by the number seven followed by 27 zeros.
3. Your skin accounts for about 16 percent of your body weight… or roughly 20 pounds.
4. You produce about 96 gallons of saliva every year.
5. Bloodhounds have nothing on humans.
The human nose has more than 400 olfactory receptors and can distinguish more than one trillion scents, according to researchers at Rockefeller University.
6. If you took all the blood vessels out of your body and laid them out in a line, they would be 100,000 miles long. That’s almost halfway to the moon or about four trips around the world.
7. Right now you have tiny, microscopic mites living on your face.
Don’t worry, they’re probably harmless. Demodex mites have eight short legs and elongated bodies. They live near pores, hair follicles and in your sebaceous glands. In 2014, North Carolina State University researchers found their DNA on every single face they tested. No one knows quite what they eat, but they only defecate once—when they die.
8. Every day, your heart pumps 2,500 gallons of blood, or two ounces with every heart beat.
9. The strongest muscle for its weight is the masseter. With the help of all the muscles of your jaw, it can close the teeth with a force of as great as 55 to 200 pounds.
10. When you read a book, your eye muscles make nearly 10,000 coordinated movements.
11. In addition to providing more oxygen to the brain when you’re sleepy, yawning may be your body’s way of regulating brain temperature.
Researchers found that people are less likely to yawn when the weather outside is higher than their body temperature.
12. Sweat doesn’t stink.
You only develop an odor when sweat mingles with the bacteria that lives on your skin.
13. Your blood type doesn’t affect your weight, but it can tell you something about your health risks.
For example, people with blood types A, B or AB are at higher risk of heart disease than those with type O, according to 2012 Harvard research. One potential reason: Those blood groups may also be linked to higher risk of inflammation, a cardiovascular disease risk factor. Click here for 8 foods that fight inflammation.
14. When you step on your bathroom scale, know that two to six pounds alone could be the bacteria you carry in your body.
15. Old science suggested that bacteria in your body outnumber your own cells by 10 to one, but a new study from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory says it may be closer to one to one, until you defecate (then human cells outnumber bacteria).
16. A few strands of DNA aren’t the only things that separate us from our chimpanzee cousins.
Our abductor muscles allow us to stand on one foot without tipping over. Chimps and other apes aren’t as stable. When they try to stand on one foot, they fall over.
17. Just putting one foot in front of the other to walk requires the combined efforts of an estimated 200 muscles.
18. The average age of a fat cell is 10 years.
19. The epithelial or skin cells of your stomach lining turn over about every five days.
20. A sneeze can travel out of your body at 100 mph, creating upward of 100,000 droplets (that include viruses, bacteria, mucus, saliva and irritants) while a cough travels at a modest 55 mph, spraying 3,000 droplets into the air.
Cover your mouth!