The human body, though absolutely fascinating, does some pretty crazy stuff. Made of rather (absolutely) bizarre compounds, complete with weird behaviors, and often destined to do completely gross things, “People,” as Jim Morrison said, “are strange.” Some are more strange than others. But since we’re all part of one family - the human kind - these strange things make us great. Learn a little about yourself and the weird things your mind and body do by reading the following 25 Most Strange And Bizarre Facts About Humans:
1. Almost any way you cook it, freeze it, water it, and treat it with chemicals, human hair is strong as Superman and fire seems to be the only force which equates to Superman’s kryptonite. As one of the mostly non-disintegrative, nearly indestructible biomaterials on the human body with the ability to hold 3.5 ounces with a single strand, human hair is resistant to natural and unnatural forces ranging from climate changes to chemicals. Which is what explains why it’s so hard to rid our mammalian bodies of unwanted patches of it during its three to seven year lifespan...say nothing about the course of a lifetime.
2. Scientists have spent year after year researching the difference between animals and people yet only found one true distinction: though all kinds of animals cry, humans are the only species on the planet who weep for emotional reasons. Essentially humans and animals produce tears though the process of lachrimation to clean and moisten their eyes, make use of the nutrient rich infection fighting properties of tears, and wash away dirty irritants with eye-water baths. And try as they may, animals can’t really communicate the reason behind their tears so we humans go forth believing we’re the only ones capable of weeping. Is it hard to believe the only thing separating us from the monkey cousins of long ago was merely ability to shed tears?
3. Right now, your eyes are the same size as they were on the day you were born. This is partially to make sure your parents and guardians didn’t reject you on a biological level since people are innately drawn to big eyes. And also because the development of your eyes took a billion cells, began in utero when your mother was only two weeks pregnant, and was visible when she was only nine weeks along. Now for the bad news: your nose and ears won’t compensate for your eye size as you age since they will never stop growing.
4. Your nose is a timekeeper of your memories. A human’s olfactory system retains and stores over 50,000 smells. Which explains why you’ll never forget the moments you shared sniffing the scent of your late grandmother, freshly cut grass, the air after a good rain, or that Douglas Fir on Christmas morning way back in 1985.
5. Out of the 206 bones in an adult’s body, over one quarter of them are in the skull. In fact, there are eight cranial bones and fourteen facial bones behind your face. Which is great because they all protect your greatest asset: your mind.
6. Your tongue is your strongest muscle given its four inch (or ten millimeter) size, contains over 8,000 taste buds, and is home to 10 to 15 million bacteria. All of which could protect you from whatever germs you encounter during your next marathon make out session or tongue lifting championship. The world’s record for the strongest tongue was set when Thomas Blackstone lifted 24 pounds, 3 ounces via a hook in his tongue.
7. Your hands may be small but they are great. In fact, much of your power may be in your fingertips since touch is the strongest form of communication. The twenty seven bones in the human body are in the metacarpals so try to cause only good with whatever is placed in your hands. Oh and it may not hurt to remember Audrey Hepburn’s wise words: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”
8. Like that kid in Jerry McQuire said: the human brain does in fact weigh in around 2.87 pounds to 3.1 pounds though they all don’t function the same. Most male brains weigh a little more than most female’s brains. And the programming systems controlling the billions of cells stored inside process very differently.
9. Pound for pound, human bone is stronger than steel even if steel is four and a half times heavier - even though bones have tiny cracks in them. Engineers (and frequently life) test the maximum stress materials, like steel and bones, can take before they crumple and break. As it turns out, AISI 1020 Hot Rolled Mild steel has a tensile strength of 70,000 psi. Human bones only 13,000 to 17,000 psi. Yet on a per weight basis, your bones take waaaayyy can take more stress than steel. What doesn’t kill you...makes you stronger than alloy.
10. Your wisdom teeth (or third set of molars) are useless, potentially agonizing, and may in fact mean you’re not as evolved as the people who never got them. Swapping horror stories of how your wisdom teeth were impacted or infected their nearby molar neighbors will do little to prove you’re not a primitive ape. Our ancient ancestors walked on their hands and had jaws wide enough to need a third row of molars. Modern man does not. Research shows that over time, human brains evolved to accommodate larger brains and gene mutations resulted, proving those of us with only two or less wisdom teeth are much smarter than the masses.
11. It takes over 200 or more muscles functioning properly to walk one step. That “inverted double pendulum gait” of yours is proof that you had to crawl and stand before you walked. And you had to fall down a few (hundred) times before your body could get all of the coordination, stability, and balance together so you could keep upright before you wobbled over. Then you had to dust yourself off and try, try again. Which makes re-learning how to walk that much more difficult for those who suffer various injuries and are confined to wheelchairs or other devices. Never give up. It takes babies over 1,000 hours of practice. Plus we’re rooting for you.
12. If you’re going to be stupid enough to step before a car to save someone, adrenaline will help you lift one, Dummy. It’s true: the hormonal neurotransmitter epinephrine not only regulates blood vessels, heart rate, and metabolism but also triggers the fight or flight response of the human nervous system. So, if you run into a burning building to save your precious cat, or perform some other superhuman-like heroic deed, as long as your adrenal glands function properly and send your system surging with their extracts, chances are you’ll escape fatal harm. Hopefully.
13. Ecolocation (or biosonar) isn’t just for bats, whales, and dolphins. Humans are equipped with an innate ability to sense and detect objects merely by the soundwaves and echoes they make. The auditory clues people perceive is particularly important for those that are blind can find their way without sight or canes. This also explains how people navigate through darkness without visual clues (that is until they whack their toe on the coffee table after falling asleep on the couch.)
14. If you’re fat, you’re more deaf. Overeating decreases the effectiveness of your circulatory system. So, if you consume waaayyy tooooo much food, you’re delicate inner ear won’t function the way it is supposed to. And it won’t get the freshly oxygenated blood it needs to keep those tiny cilia on your ear drum from getting what it needs to survive. So you’ll hear less.
15. People with high intelligence quotients (IQs) dream more. Your mind is most active while you’re asleep as it busily replenishes and repairs all that an average day depletes from your physical and emotional experiences. Researchers studied over 2,000 people and detected a link between what they dream and their smarts. Then concluded that those with a high level of intelligence had more vivid dreams. And never had a good nights’ sleep. Which brings us to...keep reading...
16. You can survive without food for one month, water and shelter for three days, air for three minutes, yet seventeen hours of wakefulness is as dangerous as driving with a blood alcohol level of .05%. That’s right insomniacs: put down your coffee and pull up your pillow. Long term sleep deprivation compromises your health significantly. As in it can kill you under the worst of conditions. Under the not so worst conditions, you’re life is going to suck if you don’t get enough sleep as you risk memory loss, body aches, diabetes, depression, headaches, hallucinations, high blood pressure, increased stress hormones, and enough baggage under your eyes to travel to Europe without a suitcase. So save wrestling your thoughts for places beyond your bed.
17. When the ancient philosopher Ovid offered the timelessly sage advice to : “In the middle of things you will go most safe” he wasn’t kidding. Moderation is key to good health, especially since today’s best scientists and clinicians can source stress as the cause or aggregate of over 90% of illnesses. If you need further proof, consider the Institute of Science, Technology, and Public Policy’s data after a five year study concluding that Americans have the poorest health in comparison to all of the other industrialized countries. The good news is the Institute also measured the effectiveness of stress reduction therapies and found a link between the prevention and treatment of disease just by targeting high risk patients. Chart your course, include means of reducing stress, live moderately, and maintain emotional balance.
18. It only takes two tablespoons of blood for the average man to get an erection. That’s it. What he does after this happens is his business. Especially if he or his partner suffer from the fear of or even thinking an about erection, officially known as “Ithyphallophobia.” Then all bets are officially off.
19. The lining of your stomach turns red when you blush. And blushing is a result of social awareness. Therefore, it’s entirely safe to assume you must always, always trust your gut.
Especially when it changes from its typical pinkish-grayish cast to flamin’ red and it’s not because of the Jalapeno burrito you wolfed down for lunch.
20. The largest cell in the human body is the female egg (also known as the “ovum” or “oocyte”) released during ovulation. This “whopper” of a cell is not visible to the naked eye but measures a 1000 micrometers And without the smallest cell in the human body, the male sperm, none of us would be here.
21. The air released from your lungs when you cough travels at 60 mph. Cover your mouth. Please. I beg you. The force of a cough is due to the fact your lungs are your biggest organ which, if stretched, would cover an entire tennis court. So take care of them. Feed them fresh oxygen through exercise, don’t smoke, and breathe deeply to thank them for their job well done.
23. If your mother dropped you when you were a newborn, chances are you’re fine. And, though we recommend you do anything but, if you drop your newborn, it should be fine too. We’ve all heard the jab “You’re mother must’ve dropped you on your head when you were a baby.” And chances are it’s true. Mother’s make mistakes. And kids survive thanks to the flexibility of their growing bones, muscles, and other components of their systems. Plus in 2007, Christela Belle was only a 19 day old baby who survived a 28 foot fall when the woman who gave birth to her dropped her 28 feet in an outhouse. The world is sick. But miracles happen. Treat yours well.
24. Women’s hearts beat faster than men’s hearts do. Because the weaker sex is smaller. And the larger the animal, the slower the heartbeat. Most men are larger than women. Both rules apply even when each is in utero.
25. Sex is good for more than reproduction. And orgasms. It’s also good for pain relief, its antihistamine potential, instant (yet temporary) cure for mild depression, improves the condition of the skin, gives the immune system a boost, and reduces stress. Plus, when properly performed, it feels sooooo goooooood.
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