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14 Facts That Prove Our Bodies Are Capable of Incredible Things (Yep, Your Heart Can Change Its Shape)

14 Facts That Prove Our Bodies Are Capable of Incredible Things (Yep, Your Heart Can Change Its Shape)

The body is the most powerful chemical laboratory where every process follows strict rules and regulations. It seems scientists already know everything about all our cells, but that’s not necessarily true. For example, several months ago, they discovered a new organ in the immune system. It’s positioned on the outside of the lymph glands and can “remember” your past infections and vaccinations. Believe it or not, there are even more miracles in our bodies that can surprise us!

Did you know the heart can change its shape in zero gravity, we have a second brain, and our gastric acid can digest something as sharp as a razor? Bright Side supposes our body has even more secrets that it hides from us.

  • Our spine is around 1 inch longer when we wake up than it is in the evening. The reason for this lies in the discs in the spine that are composed of a gelatin-like material which provides cushioning and protection to the spine. Gravity and other forces compress the spine after standing up throughout the day, so we get shorter.
  • Usually, a heart beats between 60 and 80 times per minute, 100,000 times per day, 30 million times per year, and around 2.5 billion times over 70 years. But there are also pauses in your heartbeat: your heart “keeps silent” around 20 years of life. You can even count how many heartbeats you have experienced so far (including the time before your birth).
  • You’re absolutely unique and not just when it comes to your fingerprints. The shape of your ear is also unique. British scientists have developed a method that is able to identify a person by their ears. The technique boasts a 99.6% success rate. In the future, people will have the opportunity to unlock their phones with the help of the auricle scanner. The tongue also has a unique shape and texture. In contrast to our fingerprints, this “pattern” never changes.

  • NASA scientists have found that the heart loses its muscle mass and becomes more spherical at zero gravity in space. NASA cardiologists have studied the hearts of 12 astronauts working on the International Space Station. The images revealed that the heart becomes 9.4% more spherical in space, but after returning to Earth, the heart returns to its normal elongated shape.
  • The heart imitates the music that we listen to. As a rule, the heart experiences anywhere from 60 to 200 heartbeats per minute. The majority of songs have almost the same tempo. But the most popular songs don’t match our heartbeats when we’re not excited. In fact, they’re a bit higher: from 120 to 130 beats per minute, to be exact. For example, in 2016, it’s no wonder Rihanna’s song This Is What You Came For (124 beats per minute) and Galantis’ No Money (126 beats per day) were at the top of the charts. Also, when people exercise on a treadmill, they prefer rhythmic music with around 160 beats per minute.
  • Scientists have proven that the temperature of our meals has an impact on the perception of taste. The sour taste is more vivid if a dish is hot and a bitter taste is brighter when the temperature of your dish is quite cold. Our receptors are the most sensitive to temperatures between 65° F and 95° F. So a cup of coffee that’s too hot seems to be less bitter than a cup of coffee of moderate temperature.

  • In addition to the 4 types of taste (sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness) there’s also a taste called umami. This is a taste found in protein dishes, meat and fish broths, and foods containing monosodium glutamate. People have certain receptors that are responsible for umami perception.
  • Gastric acid is so concentrated that it can actually digest the stomach. To protect itself, the stomach renovates its inner layer every 3-4 days. Gastric acid can dissolve even a razor (but we don’t recommend testing that out). When the destructive effect of the aggressive gastric mucosa prevails over the protective effect, a person can be at risk of getting an ulcer.
  • There are people who suffer from auto-brewery syndrome. They can “get drunk” after eating foods containing too many carbs. The problem is, the stomach fails to convert sugar into carbs. Instead, ethanol is produced through fermentation in the gastrointestinal system.
  • Experts from the Flinders University in Australia have concluded that there’s a so-called second brain in our body that is located in the intestine. What’s more, is it may be considered the first brain since it appears first. The thing is, the gastrointestinal tract is the only organ with its own nervous system that can work independently. This nervous system has a direct impact on the body. For example, it automates the digestion process.
  • Our bodies glow in the dark but we can’t see it. The light that the body emits is 1,000 times lower than the sensitivity of our naked eyes.
  • Scientists have concluded that all creatures (elephants, human beings, mice, etc.) empty their bladders over a nearly constant duration of 21 seconds on average (the standard deviation is 13 seconds.) Researchers think that this knowledge can help in inspiring the design of scalable hydrodynamic systems based on those in nature.
  • Each minute, your body loses around 300 million cells which sounds like a terrifying number. But don’t worry, it’s only 0.0001% of cells that renovate on a daily basis.
  • In 2010, scientists at Emory University discovered an interesting gene in mice. Deleting this gene could make them smarter. It turns out that people also have this gene, but no one knows whether getting rid of it will have any side effects or not. The scientists called it the “Homer Simpson gene”.

Do you think the body needs any other abilities? Is there anything you’d like to improve about your body’s everyday functions?

Preview photo credit shutterstock
Illustrated by Alena Sofronova for Bright Side
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