The human body is a fascinating and complex system that has stumped medical researchers and geniuses for thousands of years despite the constant research that is performed on it. Advances in the medical field have made it easier to understand even the most intricate parts of the human body. However, there is still a vast amount of information regarding the human body that remains unknown. With the help of technological innovations and an increase in interest for the medical field and the human body, I fully expect more facts about the human body to be unveiled in the future! To start, here is a list of 50 things that your body does for you on a daily basis that you might have never been aware of!
1. Nerve pulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour.
This explains how the human body knows to pull your hand off a hot stove top. Nerve impulses travel to the rest of the body to make you aware that you are in danger at the speed higher than that of a luxury sports car.
2. The human brain can hold five times the amount of information as the Encyclopedia Britannica.
Scientists have not come to a conclusion as to exactly how much information the human brain can store, but it is approximated to be up to 1,000 terabytes. The entire Encyclopedia Britannica archive takes up a mere 70 terabytes. Impressive!
3. The human brain consumes 20 percent of the oxygen that enters the blood stream.
Although the brain only accounts for 2 percent of your body mass, it consumes more oxygen than any other organ in the human body. This means that the brain is the most susceptible to damage secondary to oxygen deprivation.
4. Facial hair grows faster than any other hair on the human body.
Ever heard of a 5 o’clock shadow? If the average man never shaved his facial hair, it is possible that his beard would grow as long as 30 feet long. That is longer than the length of a killer whale!
5. One strand of human hair can support up to 3.5 ounces.
3.5 ounces is about the equivalent of two full size candy bars. Taking this into consideration, with hundreds of thousands of hair strands on board, the Rapunzel story actually seems plausible!
6. The largest internal organ in the human body is the small intestine.
Turns out the small intestine is not so small after all. To be exact, the average small intestine is four times as long as the average adult is tall. It would not even fit in the abdominal cavity if it did not loop back and forth on itself.
7. The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve a metal razor blade.
I am certainly not advising you to swallow any metal objects to test this theory out, but the hydrochloric acid that is found in your stomach not only dissolves the Chinese food you had for dinner, but also many types of metal.
8. The human body is estimated to have approximately 60,000 miles of blood vessels.
The distance around planet Earth is about 25,000 miles. With that being said, if you laid all of the blood vessels in the human body from end to end, you could wrap them around Earth at least twice.
9. You could remove a very large portion of the human body’s organs and still survive.
Hypothetically speaking, the human body could still survive even with the removal of the stomach, the spleen, 75 percent of the liver, 80 percent of the intestines, one kidney, one lung, and virtually every organ from the pelvic and groin area.
10. A full bladder is approximately the size of a softball.
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It is estimated that the average human bladder can hold around 400-800 mL of fluid. Most people, however, begin to feel the urge to go once the bladder has around 250-300 mL of urine in it.
11. A fetus acquires fingerprints in as soon as three months gestation.
A fetus develops its most distinguishable traits, fingerprints, in as little as six to 13 weeks gestation. These fingerprints will not change at all as the fetus grows and develops throughout extra uterine life. Fingerprints are one of the first traits to develop, and one of the very last to disappear after death.
12. The human nose can remember 50,000 different scents.
Obviously this does not compare to a bloodhound, who can remember up to a million different scents, but it is still impressive. Studies show that the majority of the scents that humans recall are strongly linked to memories and past experiences.
13. Even the smallest of noises can cause the human pupil to dilate.
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This explains why surgeons, watchmakers, or really anyone who is performing a delicate manual operation are bothered by even the slightest change of noise in their environment. Even the smallest amount of uninvited noise causes the pupil to dilate and blur vision, making the task at hand seem even more difficult.
14. You are 20 percent more likely to experience a heart attack on a Monday than any other day of the week.
As if we need one more reason to hate Mondays! Researchers believe that this is in large part due to having too much fun over the weekend, not accomplishing the work you anticipated to, and having to return to work for a new week.
15. Humans can make do longer without food than without sleep.
Although you might technically feel better after pulling an all-nighter than you do after not eating for a day, that feeling is short-lived. In fact, the human body can survive for up to two months (given that water is available). Of course, this depends on the individual’s current body fat index, current nutritional status, and many other factors. On the other hand, the human body can only undergo a few nights without sleep before severe personality and psychological changes begin to take place. This explains why you might feel a little crankier than usual if you go a few nights without getting those full eight hours.
16. Over 90 percent of diseases that the human body encounters are either caused or complicated by stress.
A little stress can be considered healthy because it can push us to work harder and be more productive. However, large amounts of stress on a regular basis is very detrimental to your health. Chronic stress increases your chances of developing depression, hypertension, and heart disease.
17. The human head is capable of remaining conscious for up to 20 seconds following decapitation.
This is really weird to think about, but studies theorize that the human brain contains enough blood to remain conscious and aware of its surroundings for at around 15 to 20 seconds after it has been separated from the rest of the human body. If you are interested in more weird facts about the human body and death, I recommend giving Mary Roach’s book, "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" a read. This topic and many others are discussed throughout it.
18. We are approximately one centimeter shorter in the evening than we are first thing in the morning.
During the day, the cartilage between our bones are compressed by standing, sitting, and other activities of daily living, making us slightly shorter at the end of the day.
19. About 32 million different types of bacteria call every inch of your skin home.
Don’t worry! The majority of these bacteria are totally harmless and many are even vital in maintain a normal flora and a healthy body.
20. Humans are the only animals capable of producing emotional tears.
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As it turns out, humans are the biggest crybabies there are. No other animal is capable of crying over emotional upsets such as having a bad day, losing a loved one, or not feeling well.
21. Women burn fat at a slower rate than men do.
Women burn fat at about 50 calories per day, which is significantly less than their male counterparts. Because of their reproductive system, women require a higher body fat proportion than men. As a result, women do not burn excess fat as readily as men do because their bodies requires it.
We tend to forget about all of the amazing things our bodies do for us every single day. The human body is resilient and capable of so much more than we can even begin to fathom. With this being said, it is so important to take care of the human body that does so much for you. Treat your body with respect and take great care of it because it is the only one you will ever have!