20 Weird Facts About the Human Body That May Leave You Scratching Your Head
Our bodies hide many mysteries. We bet you’ve wondered at least once why people hiccup or how many mosquitos are needed to drink the blood of one entire person. All these and many other questions already have scientific answers.
Bright Side collected the most interesting facts about the human body. We bet you haven’t even suspected many of them. At the end of the article, there is a bonus tidbit that reveals a method plastic surgeons use to determine the best breast proportion sizes.
1. Humans and slugs have a lot in common.
Humans and slugs have many more common features than you’d think at first glance. Our DNA is 70% identical to the DNA of slugs. A long time ago, all animals had one common ancestor just like plants: the DNA of a human and a banana are 50% identical. Therefore, a human is half a banana or 40% cucumber. All living creatures on Earth are relatives to an extent — this simply means at some point in time, our development had taken a different path.
2. Humans can have an extra rib.
3. ATMs and public toilets are equally dirty.
ATMs have already become an inevitable part of our lives. But how many people actually disinfect their hands right after using them? Bacteriological tests conducted by scientists from the UK showed that ATMs are as dirty as public toilets. Swabs taken from ATMs’ keyboards showed the presence of harmful bacteria that is dangerous to a human’s health.
4. Nails on fingers grow faster than nails on toes.
Nails on fingers grow faster because they have more frequent contact with sunlight. Also, nails on your working hand grow faster than those on your non-working hand, while the longest nail is always on the middle finger. Moreover, the bigger the finger, the longer its nails are, however, no one knows for sure why.
5. Botox deprives a person of emotion.
Botox injections paralyze facial muscles and as a result, make wrinkles disappear. However, recently scientists discovered one interesting effect of such injections — the inability to fully feel emotion. The facial expression affects the emotional state directly which is why the emotions of a person with a limited ability to express them are not as full as the emotions of people who don’t use Botox.
6. Hiccups were inherited by people from their ancient ancestors.
Hiccups are a leftover of our distant ancestors who lived 370 million years ago. These guys used to swim in the ocean, therefore, their bodies were provided with gills and lungs at the same time (there are still fish in Australia that can breathe using this method). With the help of the mechanism that we call hiccups, our ancestors used to protect their lungs from water ingress.
7. Most heart attacks happen on Mondays.
The risk of having a heart attack increases by 20% for men and 15% for women on Mondays. It’s likely that it’s due to the stress caused by the necessity of getting back to work. However, scientists also warn us that alcohol consumed during the weekend can also become a reason for a heart attack.
8. You can eat garlic through your feet.
If you rub the sole of your feet with garlic, you’ll feel its taste and smell in the mouth after 30 minutes. It’s all because of allicin — an organic compound that is formed during the mechanical destruction of garlic. Allicin is able to penetrate through the cell membranes, travel through the bloodstream and reach the taste buds. That’s the reason why people who like to eat garlic not only have a bad smell from their mouths but also from their entire body — because the smell dissolves in the blood.
9. One human can feed a million mosquitos.
A human’s body has enough blood to feed on 1.2 — 1.8 mosquitos. Everything depends on the height and weight of the victim as well as the level of the insects’ hunger. One mosquito drinks about 0.003 ml of blood within one bite, therefore, a whole army of tiny bloodsuckers would be needed in order to suck out all the blood of a human. And, of course, this event is unlikely to happen.
10. People lie more convincingly when they have to go to the bathroom.
People with a full bladder lie more convincingly. A strong desire to go to the bathroom makes a person concentrate on self-control and therefore, telling lies becomes more convincing. Moreover, they try to avoid extra movement. That’s why the experts who conducted a scientific experiment believed liars who were feeling like rushing to the toilet.
11. When kissing, most people bend their heads to one side.
70% of people bend their heads to the right when kissing. This conclusion was made by a German scientist who was watching kissing couples in airports, railway stations, and beaches. Perhaps this head position is associated with right-handedness.
12. The higher your IQ is, the more interesting your dreams are.
Scientists claim that people with high intellect experience really captivating dreams that are brighter and more long-lasting than the dreams of people with a lower IQ. But don’t get upset if you can’t remember what dreams you saw at night — most people don’t remember their dreams because on average, a dream lasts only a couple of seconds.
13. People perceive information printed on paper better.
Scientists from Norway held an experiment on college students — they handed out to one group of students sheets with printed text and asked the second group to read the same text on the computer screen in PDF format. Turns out, students learn information printed on paper better. It’s another victory of paper books over digital devices.
14. The ability to hear worsens after having a good lunch.
Some people get a ringing in their ears after having a full meal. Many drinks and foods can affect the level of fluid in the inner ear and cause noise. An excess of sweet and salty foods, as well as caffeine, can lead to a temporary deterioration of hearing and even dizziness.
15. The appendix is beneficial.
The vermiform appendix of the cecum has a bad reputation — it can cause a lot of trouble and even threatens a person’s life in the cases of inflammation. Traditionally it was considered that the appendix was a rudimental organ that didn’t actually have any practical benefits. However, today’s scientists have a different opinion — it’s a safe “home” for beneficial bacteria living in the intestine. It stores helpful microbes that will “reload” the bacterial system of the intestine and populate it with new useful bacteria in case of a troublesome situation (such as an intestine infection).
16. Children grow faster in spring.
Children grow differently at different periods — the periods of non-growing can be changed with sharp outbursts and a child can grow up to 4 inches within several weeks. However, there is an interesting pattern — kids tend to grow faster in spring than in any other season. It’s believed that the fast growth is connected with sun activity.
17. The secret to honey’s easy digestibility
The reason why honey is well digested by the human body lies in the fact that bees have already digested it. Honey is a nectar that has once been digested in a bee’s goiter. It consists of simple carbs that a human body absorbs fully and doesn’t keep for later.
18. The right lung is bigger than the left one.
The volume and size of the lungs in your body are absolutely different. This is due to the location of the heart. The right lung is heavier and larger than the left one in order to leave room for the heart in the chest.
19. The resolution of a human eye is 140 megapixels.
If a human eye were a digital camera, its resolution would be 120-140 megapixels for one eye. However, these pixels are not located evenly — 1 square millimeter in the center of the eye has about 200,000 color receptors, while the side of the eye has fewer receptors.
20. People’s and sharks’ corneas are very similar.
The cornea of a shark eye is so similar to the cornea of a human eye that it could possibly be used for transplantation if the appropriate technology existed.
Bonus: how to calculate the proportions of ideal breasts
Scientists have calculated a so-called “triangle rule”. According to this, in order to find out whether your breasts have ideal proportions, draw an ABC triangle on the breasts. The AC line will be the base of the triangle and it will connect the nipples; while the top part of the triangle will be a dimple between the clavicle. Mentally split the length of the AC line in half, and divide the result by the length of AB and AC lines. The ideal breasts will have a ratio of 0.4 to 0.6. If the result is less than 0.4, it means that the breasts are sagging; if it’s more than 0.6, it means the breasts are too high.
This method is used in plastic surgery in order to get the right proportions. Meanwhile, women should keep in mind that ideal is a personal concept and that matching or not matching these calculations don’t make you less beautiful.
Which fact amazed you most of all? Please tell us about it in the comments!