Enough of serious matters, such as knee replacements and varicose veins. Here are some fun facts about legs:
- Svetlana Pankratova from Russia, is thought to be the woman with the longest legs in the world at 132 cm.
- Michael Flatley, star of Riverdance had his legs insured in 1999 for $40 million.
- The body's longest muscle is the sartorius. It is a strap-like, narrow muscle which runs all the way from the hip to the knee.
- Millipedes, even though their names mean 'a thousand feet', have fewer legs than that.
- In adults the strength of a healing bone is usually 80% of normal by 3 months after the injury or fracture.
- Actors, before they go on stage, are often told 'to break a leg'. This reflects an old superstition in which it is bad luck to wish someone good luck, so the opposite is done.
- When horses break their legs, they usually have to be euthanased. The main reason for this is that horses immediately tend to put stress on the broken leg, so it can't heal.
- In 1836, Mexican General Santa Anna held an elaborate state funeral for his amputated leg.
- Your knee is a very complex joint comprising cartilage, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels and it is here that three bones come together - namely the fibula and tibia (lower leg), and the femur (thigh). Your knee consists of two separate joints.
- An elephant is the only land mammal that cannot jump – its bodyweight is simply too much for any joint to survive that impact.
(Sources: Wikipedia; kidshealth.org; Health24.com; The Peoples' Almanac #2: David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace)
Image: Edward Lear, 1894.