Facts and Information About the Human Body

The human body is truly a marvel of engineering. It is very complex yet operates on a seamlessly effective basis for a very long time provided that we do our part to provide it with adequate rest and the fuel it needs to operate at its peak level of efficiency.

In this article, we provide a laundry list of fun and interesting facts and information about the human body.

  • The heart is the body’s engine room, responsible for pumping life-sustaining blood via a 60,000-mile-long (97,000-kilometer-long) network of vessels. The organ works ceaselessly, beating 100,000 times a day, 40 million times a year—in total clocking up three billion heartbeats over an average lifetime. Each day, the heart pumps about 2,000 gallons of blood through our system. It keeps the body freshly supplied with oxygen and nutrients, while clearing away harmful waste matter.
    The heart is perhaps the hardest working organ in the body. After reading this information, I hope you won’t ever wonder again why it is so important to take good care of your heart.
  • Body organs aren’t all internal like the brain or the heart. There’s one we wear on the outside. Skin is our largest organ—adults carry some 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) and 22 square feet (2 square meters) of it. This fleshy covering does a lot more than make us look presentable. In fact, without it, we’d literally evaporate.
  • Every square inc­h of skin on the human body has about 32 million bacteria on it, but fortunately, the vast majority of them are harmless.
  • The human skeletal system consists of bones, cartilage, ligaments and tendons and accounts for about 20 percent of the body weight.
  • The brain is a jellylike mass of fat and protein weighing about 3 pounds (1.4 kilograms). It is, nevertheless, one of the body’s biggest organs, consisting of some 100 billion nerve cells that not only put together thoughts and highly coordinated physical actions but regulate our unconscious body processes, such as digestion and breathing. About 80% of brain matter is water.
  • The digestive system is the series of tubelike organs that convert our meals into body fuel. In all there’s about 30 feet (9 meters) of these convoluted pipeworks, starting with the mouth and ending with the anus.
  • Nerve impulses to and from the brain travel as fast as 170 miles per hour. Ever wonder how you can react so fast to things around you or why that stubbed toe hurts right away? It’s due to the super-speedy movement of nerve impulses from your brain to the rest of your body and vice versa, bringing reactions at the speed of a high powered luxury sports car.
  • Since the lungs process air, they are the only internal organs that are constantly exposed to the external environment. Central to the human respiratory system, they breathe in between 2,100 and 2,400 gallons of air each day—the amount needed to oxygenate the 2,400 gallons (9,000 liters) or so of blood that is pumped through the heart daily.
  • Heat production, to maintain body temperature, is an important by-product of muscle metabolism. Nearly 85 percent of the heat produced in the body is the result of muscle contraction.
  • Respiration is the sequence of events that results in the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide between the atmosphere and the body cells. Nerve impulses stimulate the breathing process, or ventilation, which moves air through a series of passages into and out of the lungs. This occurs every 3 to 5 seconds.
  • Most everyone knows that fingerprints are unique to each person. But ­did you know that everyone also has a unique tongue print.
  • Your dog or cat isn’t the only one in the house with a shedding problem. Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour. That works out to about 1.5 pounds each year, so the average person will lose around 105 pounds of skin by age 70.
  • An adult has fewer bones than a baby. We start off life with 350 bones, but because bones fuse together during growth, we end up with only 206 as adults.
  • Man’s best friend is widely known for its ability to recognize different scents. But human aren’t doing to bad either. The human nose, which is not as sensitive as a dog’s, can still recognize about 50,000 different scents. And for the record, a dog’s sense of smell is thought to be about a thousand times more sensitive than that of humans. In fact, a dog has more than 220 million olfactory receptors in its nose, while humans have only 5 million.
  • Th­e source of smelly feet, like smelly armpits, is ­sweat. And people sweat buckets from their feet. A pair of feet have about 500,000 sweat glands and can produce more than a pint of sweat a day.
  • In a lifetime, the average person produces about 25,000 quarts of saliva — enough to fill two average size swimming pools. Boy, is that a lot of spit!
  • Here’s a reason to cover your mouth when you sneeze or to run the other way when someone is sneezing near you. The air from a human sneeze can travel at speeds of 100 miles per hour or more – no wonder it is so easy for us to catch a cold or the flu just by being around other people.
  • By 60 years of age, 60-percent of men and 40-percent of women will snore. While snores average around 60 decibels, the noise level of normal speech, they can reach more than 80 decibels. Eighty decibels is as loud as the sound of a pneumatic drill breaking up concrete. Noise levels over 85 decibels are considered hazardous to the human ear.
  • Did you know that your hair color actually helps to determine how dense the hair on your head is? Blondes (only natural ones, of course), top the list. The average human head has 100,000 hair follicles, each of which is capable of producing 20 individual hairs during a person’s lifetime. Blondes average 146,000 follicles. People with black hair tend to have about 110,000 follicles, while those with brown hair are right on target with 100,000 follicles. Redheads have the least dense hair, averaging about 86,000 follicles.
  • The average lifespan of a human hair is 3 to 7 years.
  • Have you ever considered that you clip your fingernails much more often than your toenails? Well, you do and there are reasons why. Fingernails get the most exposure and are used most frequently so they generally grow the fastest. Fingernails grow fastest on the hand that you write with and on the longest fingers. On average, nails grow about one-tenth of an inch each month.
  • Need another reason to take good care of your eyes? The human eye blinks an average of 4,200,000 times a year.
  • Here’s a note for all you folks who run around with cellphone or Ipod or other types of  headphones in one or both ears. Wearing headphones for one hour, even at a reasonable volume level,  increases the amount of bacteria in your ear approximately 700 percent. And doing this more than twice weekly also increases your risk of experiencing significant hearing loss by age 50 by more than 30 percent.


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