The human body is a beautiful piece of bio-machinery. There isn’t a second that passes where something is not happening in the living body – even while you’re asleep and far away in dreamland. Sometimes, we tend to forget how brilliant our bodies are and how well they do things they’re designed for.
We live with our bodies for all of our lives, so it makes sense to know what goes on in that beautiful living, breathing organism we see every time we look in the mirror. Here are ten fun facts about the human body you might not have heard about before!
1. Your blood vessels can circle the entire earth
Blood vessels are essential to the human body’s functionality – without these capillaries, there would be a total shutdown of your body as blood cannot move around your limbs and brain. Blood vessels, as compared to the other parts of the human body, are small. However, the network of blood vessels that are self-contained in your body is mind-blowingly long – if they were laid out in a straight line, they would cover more than 60,000 miles in length. According to NASA, the entire circumference of the globe is 24,873 miles. This means your blood vessels could go around the world – twice!
2. The heart circulates blood throughout the body 1,000 times daily
It’s easy to forget how much the heart works to keep the human body working correctly. Every function of the human body, from the physical to the mental, requires blood. And the heart is at the center of it all, pumping and circulating blood throughout the body at least 1,000 times, every single day, without fail. And in 24 hours, your heart can pump the equivalent of 5,000-6,000 quarts of blood throughout your body. If the human heart were a worker in a company, it’d probably take employee of the month every single time.
3. Food takes up to 6 hours to digest completely
There’s nothing better than digging into a meal of some of your favorite dishes. But what happens in your body after you finish that delicious roast dinner special? At first, the food you eat breaks down via stomach acids and travels relatively quickly from the stomach to the small intestine. Once it reaches the small intestines, it gets broken down even further as it moves along to the large intestine. Once it comes to the end of the large intestine, the digestion process is complete – it takes up to 6 hours to reach this point.
4. A human bone is four times stronger than concrete
According to scientists, one cubic inch of human bone can bear a load of over 19,000lbs (8626 kg). This is the weight of 5 standard pickup trucks – which is an imposing figure, all things considered. Ounce for ounce, this means that bone is four times stronger than concrete. This is why professional fighters like kickboxers are so deadly – trained kickboxers can deliver up to a ton of force with each kick. You don’t want to get in the way of that one!
5. Your sneeze has a top speed of 100 miles per hour
A sneeze is the body’s way of getting rid of any annoying dust that is tickling your nose, or it could be a sign of a more severe problem, like the flu or a cold. In either case, what most people realize is that they have a high-speed projectile cannon on their faces – a single sneeze can travel up to 100mph!
6. Eyelashes only last 150 days
Our eyelashes are brilliant little things that keep dust out of our eyes. But here’s a fun fact – eyelashes don’t last for longer than 150 days. They fall out and completely replenish themselves in a cycle of growth, reaching optimum length, falling out, and then regrowing again on the same follicle. So, if you’ve plucked out an eyelash, make a wish, and blow it away – you’ll have another one growing in its place the very next day.
7. Your fingernails grow four times faster than toenails
Have you ever wondered why you usually have to take the nail cutter on your fingernails more than you do on your toenails? This is because your fingernails grow up to 4 times faster than your toenails do! Theories suggest that the reason for this is because the more that a digit (fingers OR toes) is used, the quicker the nail attached to it grows. Your body correlates greater use of the digits to greater wear and responds by regenerating the area around it accordingly – and your fingernails are the most visible result of this process.
8. You are taller in the morning
No, you’re not Shaquille O’neal when you wake up in the morning. You’re just about as tall as your body is – because your spine “spreads out” or decompresses while you are lying in bed in a resting position, the moment you wake up your spine is fully stretched out – making you taller by an inch or so at the very least. Just don’t try a slam dunk before you’ve got out of your pajamas!
9. The largest muscle in your body is your butt
The gluteus maximus (what a majestic name!) is the scientific term for your butt – the biggest muscle in your body. Because it maintains functions that allow you to stand up, climb stairs, and sit down, it takes up a large portion of your muscle real estate. It looks like Sir-Mix-A-Lot got it right in his song!
10. You make 1 to 2 liters of saliva every day.
Our salivary glands work to mix with the food that we eat and lubricate even the driest morsels to allow it to slide down to your stomach and digest easily. The human body produces at least 1 to 2 liters of saliva every day, at mealtimes or otherwise (which is probably why some people are prone to drooling so much in their sleep!)