Top 10 Amazing Facts You Didn't Know About Your Body
The human body is a marvelous thing; it's almost a shame that we don't know all that it's capable of. From our bones being stronger than concrete, from having enough iron in our bodies to make a 2 1/2 inch long nail, here are ten lesser known facts about your body.
You Can Remove Many Internal Organs And Survive
The human body is often depicted as frail and delicate, but it's actually possible to survive even with the removal of the spleen, stomach, colon, appendix, reproductive organs, gall bladder, the sensory organs, eighty percent of the intestines, seventy-five percent of the liver, half a brain, one kidney, and one lung. Other glands, such as the pituitary gland, thyroid, parathyroid, pineal gland, adrenal glands, and pancreas can also be removed. Granted, you may not feel too great and these situations are never ideal, but the missing organs wouldn't kill you. While never done lightly, the removing of an organ is always a last resort procedure and often results in the use of medication for life-long treatments and possibly carefully controlled diets, and a diminished quality of life. People with preexisting conditions will have a harder time adapting to the lack of an organ, and your chances of adapting go down as you age, but nevertheless, we're pretty durable!
Stomach Acid Can Dissolve Razorblades
While it isn't recommended for you to test the fortitude of your stomach by consuming a razor blade or any other metal object for that matter, the acids that break down our food aren't to be taken lightly. The acid plays a key role in the digestion of proteins by activating digestive enzymes and making ingested proteins unravel so that the digestive enzymes break down the chains of amino acids. Stomach acid is produced by cells lining the stomach, which are connected in feedback systems to increase acid production when needed. The acid is composed of hydrochloric acid, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride. Hydrochloric acid is highly corrosive and used in industrial settings for removal of rust and scale from metals.
A Single Strand Of Human Hair Can Hold 3 Oz.
Up to one hundred fifty thousand strands of hair sprout from each human head, where each then grows roughly one centimeter a month, and sheds within four to seven years. Hair is very strong, with each strand able to hold one hundred grams or three ounces of weight. The combined head of one's hair could support twelve tons or the equivalent of two elephants. Although not as strong as steel, it can be compared to aluminum, reinforced glass fibers or even Kevlar. Aside from its flammability, human hair decays at such a slow rate that it is virtually non-disintegrative. Our hair cannot be destroyed by the cold, change in climate, water, or other natural forces, and it is resistant to many types of acids and corrosive chemicals. Hair follicles contain specialized cells called melanocytes, which make melanin, the sun-protecting pigment that keeps all our hair lustrous and colored.
Every Tongue Print is Unique
All those tiny bumps and ridges on your tongue have its own distribution of sizes and shapes just like fingerprints, making it unique to you and no one else. Those bumps contain more than ten thousand taste buds, each filled with microscopic hairs called microvilli. Microvilli are the tiny food critics of your mouth, sensing if your meal is sweet or sour, salty or bitter, while sending all the reviews up to the brain. The tongue is also used for crushing food against the hard palate during mastication. The tongue also serves as a natural means of cleaning your teeth, acting similarly to fine sandpaper - although we don't suggest you give up your toothbrush.
Your Brain Itself Can't Feel Pain
While the brain may interpret pain when you cut your finger or burn yourself, the brain itself does not have pain receptors and cannot feel pain. The pain experience for all of us begins when unpleasant stimuli activate sensory nerve fibers, called nociceptors, which are located in the skin, muscles, joints, and some organs, then transmit these pain signals from the periphery to the brain where the message of pain is perceived. Our brains do not contain these nociceptors, which explains why neurosurgeons can operate on brain tissue without causing the patient discomfort, and even sometimes while they are awake. However, this doesn't mean your head can't hurt, as it is surrounded by loads of tissues, nerves and blood vessels that contain nociceptors, and are receptive to pain, which is why you can get pounding headaches from time to time.
The Brain Is More Active At Night
Thinking logically, you would assume that with all the moving around, complicated calculations, various tasks and general interactions we do on a daily basis, that our brain would use more power with these tasks than it does when we turn in for the night; however, the opposite is true. When REM sleep or Rapid Eye Movement was discovered, it was the first clue that sleep didn't just help keep our bodies healthy, but also our minds. In 2000, researchers discovered that people who received more than 6 hours of sleep improved their performance on tasks designed to tax the memory and that the participants didn't just require REM sleep, but also slow-wave sleep. They also discovered that sleep helps stabilize and process memories, process information of the day and solve problems.
Enough Iron To Make A Nail
Those of us who have ever tasted blood know that it has a slight metallic taste; this is due to the high levels of iron in the blood. Iron is an important mineral, as it helps to transport oxygen throughout the body, and helps maintain healthy cells, skin, hair, and nails. Males of average height have approximately four grams of iron in their body, while females have about three and a half grams, and children usually have three grams or less. These grams of iron are distributed throughout the body in hemoglobin, tissues, muscles, bone marrow, blood proteins, enzymes, ferritin, hemosiderin, and transport in plasma. Among these, the greatest portion of iron residing in humans is in hemoglobin. Our bodies tend to lose 1-1.5 milligrams of iron per day, with the loss excreting through urine, sweat, feces and tears. If you were able to take out all the iron in the body, the weight in grams could create a nail approximately two and a half inches long.
Swedish scientists have shown that people can detect nano-scale wrinkles while running their fingers upon a seemingly smooth surface. Their findings could lead to advances in touch screens for the visually impaired and other products. Mark Rutland, Professor of Surface Chemistry, states that the human finger can differentiate between surfaces patterned with ridges as small as thirteen nanometers. Comparatively, this means that if our finger was the size of Earth, we would be able to feel the difference between houses and cars. The study highlights the importance of surface friction and wrinkle wavelength, or wrinkle width, in the tactile perception of fine textures. When a finger traverses over a surface, vibrations occur in the finger, for which people interpret these vibrations differently on different surfaces. This research could also advance the sense of touch in robotics and virtual reality.
Bones Are Four Times As Strong As Concrete
Bone is extraordinarily strong. Ounce per ounce, bone is stronger than steel, with a cubic inch, in principle, able to tolerate a load of nineteen thousand pounds or more, which equates to the weight of five standard pickup trucks, also making it about four times as strong as concrete. Whether or not bone actually withstands such loads depends heavily on how quickly force is delivered to that area. Bone tissue is a composite of fibrous collagen strands that resemble the steel rebar in concrete, with a hardened mineralized matrix that contains large amounts of calcium, also like concrete. Bone is also a living tissue that is continually breaking down and forming new bone to adapt to mechanical stresses.
200 Muscles Per Step
Depending on how you divide up the muscle groups and the individual, taking a single step can use somewhere in the neighborhood of around two hundred muscles. That seems like a lot of work considering that most people average around ten thousand steps per day. The hip region consists of four main muscle groups, the gluteal, adductor, iliopsoas, and lateral, while the thigh region houses three main groups, the anterior, posterior, and adductors. These two regions contain the majority of the two hundred muscles, which helps with the many health benefits associated with walking, including improved stamina and weight control, reduction of coronary heart disease and high blood pressure, and improved memory skills and learning abilities.