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Fun Biology Facts

I feel privileged to work in health care, and one reason is because I find the human body endlessly complex and fascinating. Here are some surprising facts that I’ll bet you didn’t know:

 

  • The number of bones in our body drops from about 300 bones at birth to 206…and about half of those bones are in the hands and feet.

  • Astronauts can be up to two inches taller in space. Just think about what gravity does to us! In fact, we are taller when we wake up in the morning than we are at night, because when we stand, our spine compresses.

  • The only part of our body with no blood supply is the cornea. Our corneas get oxygen directly from the air.

  • Our small intestine averages 22 feet in length.

  • Our heart circulates blood through some 60,000 miles of blood vessels.

  • Some of our organs come in pairs, but we only need one to survive. That includes our eyes, ears, kidneys, testicles, breasts, and even lungs.

  • We can’t breathe and swallow at the same time. (That’s obvious, right? But how many of us just tried?)

  • You may have heard that our ears and nose never stop growing. Actually, what we really notice as we age is simply changes in the skin, combined with the effects of gravity.

  • Our stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve metal. If it were to come into contact with our skin, it would burn. Thankfully, the stomach is surrounded by a protective layer of mucus.

  • In a lifetime, we may produce enough saliva to fill two swimming pools.

  • Infants blink only once or twice a minute, whereas adults blink 10-15 times a minute.

  • What is the strongest muscle in our human body? Our jaw.

  • Our eye sees the equivalent of about 576 megapixels.  The iPhone 15?  48 megapixels!

  • Our skin is host to trillions of bacteria, representing hundreds or even thousands of different types.

  • More germs are transferred through a handshake than through a kiss. Think about that!

  • The reason that a man’s testicles hang below the body is because sperm would die at body temperature.

  • Lack of sleep would cause a more rapid death than lack of food.

  • Many of us have heard that we share 96% of our DNA with chimpanzees. Did you know that we share up to 70% of our DNA with…bananas? (Why? Because all living things evolved from a common single-celled ancestor.)

 

Did you find some of this interesting? Do more research on your own, and keep learning!

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sashaburger
23 feb

Dr. Frischer, I love that you have so much love for biology and its science. And I love reading your columns in the local newspaper. As I age and continue to mature I find myself more and more interested in science and how all things work in our bodies. My own health hasn’t been the greatest for sometime now and I’ve recently had some new health discoveries. I hope with just some much needed diet and exercise, and drinking more water I will easily fix these issues.

It’s always been said, “if we just listen to our bodies and pay more attention to ourselves we can hear what our bodies are trying to tell us. What we do to our…


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