From skin and muscles to organs and bones, the human body is truly fascinating. Each aspect of our bodies is unique. In many cases, various parts of our bodies work symbiotically to keep us going. Sadly, the complex systems that allow us to function everyday are a mystery to many of us, but they don’t have to be! We’ve rounded up some of the most interesting facts about the human body to help you learn more about what exactly makes you tick. Check them out!
#1 Babies Are Born With Extra Bones.
Babies are born with approximately 300 bones. There is cartilage between many of them. This gives babies flexibility that helps them pass through the birth canal and allows for rapid growth. As babies grow older, many of their bones fuse, leaving the 206 bones that make up the human adult skeleton.
#2 Goose Bumps Once Served a Purpose.
In the early years of humanity, humans were much hairier. Back then, goose bumps served a useful purpose: they helped our ancestors’ hair stand up in threatening situations, which made them appear larger and more formidable. Today, we don’t have nearly as much hair and we don’t need to ward off predators by making ourselves appear larger, but the response remains, which is why we get goose bumps not only when we are cold, but also when we are scared!
#3 Stomach Acid Is Incredibly Strong.
Human stomach acid typically has a pH of 1.0 to 2.0, meaning it is an extremely strong acid. How strong? In a study, scientists discovered that the thickened back of a single-edged razor blade dissolved after just two hours of immersion in stomach acid! (Caution: You should never swallow razor blades or other foreign objects.) Stomach acid is also strong enough to burn your skin. The reason it doesn’t burn your stomach is because a thick layer of mucus protects the stomach lining. Sometimes stomach acid can leak up into your esophagus, which lacks this mucus layer. The result? A burning feeling that you know as heartburn.
#4 If You Laid All Your Blood Vessels Out in a Line, It Would Circle the Earth Four Times.
If you laid all of the blood vessels in a human adult body’s out in a line, it would equal about 100,000 miles. That distance could circle the Earth four times! What about young humans? Well, all of the arteries, veins, and capillaries of a human child would wrap around the Earth approximately 2.5 times and would measure about 60,000 miles long!
#5 Your Nose Can Detect 1 Trillion Smells.
While many people think of the human nose as weak, especially in comparison to dog’s noses, scientist believe that there are 1 trillion scents that the human nose and brain are capable of distinguishing. However, nose performance can vary from person to person. In one study, researchers calculated that the least successful smeller could detect only 80 million unique scents while the most successful smeller could distinguish over a thousand trillion unique smells!
#6 You Only Need One Kidney to Live.
Most humans are born with two kidneys, which help remove waste from the body. However, only one kidney is needed for survival. Each kidney has about 1.5 million blood-filtering units called nephrons. Humans typically need at least 300,000 nephrons to filter blood properly, so one kidney is more than enough. For those who don’t have healthy kidneys, dialysis (a process that filters blood using a machine) or a kidney transplant can help them survive.
#7 Your Tongue Isn't Actually a Single Muscle.
Your tongue isn’t just one muscle. It’s actually a conglomeration of 8 separate muscles. Unlike some other muscles in your body, such as your biceps, your tongue muscles don’t develop around a bone. Instead, they intertwine with one another, creating a flexible matrix and forming what is called a muscular hydrostat. This structure is similar to an elephant’s trunk or an octopus’ tentacles.
Want to learn more amazing facts about the human body? Check out this video: