14 December 2017

15 astounding facts about the human body

Don’t ever take your body for granted. The following are just a few of the many intricate details of this wonderful organism.

Your body is a truly sophisticated piece of machinery. These astounding facts may inspire you to take better care of your amazing body – it’s capable of much more than you think.

1. A very fast computer

Nerve impulses travel from the brain at a whopping speed of 247 km/h. Of course this varies according to several factors such as age and health.

2. A lot of storage space

The human brain has a storage capacity equivalent to four terabyte hard-drives. Remember that when you feel like you are suffering from information overload. By the end of a person’s life they are able to recall 150 trillion pieces of information. Unlike computers, your brain’s storage capacity cannot run out, but gets renewed over and over again.  

3. Amazing detail

The human embryo develops fingerprints within three months of conception. And the brain of a foetus starts organising itself into the forebrain, the midbrain and the hindbrain at only three weeks after conception.

human foetus

4. Always shedding

The human skin is replaced completely about 1 000 times during an average lifetime.

5. Sticks and stones

Human bones are five times stronger than steel. Steel is of course denser than human bones, but if you compare the two in terms of weight, human bones arre indeed stronger.

6. The never-ending path

Our blood travels almost 20 000 kilometres through our arteries in just one day.

7. Big ears

Our ears never stop growing. They grow throughout our lives at a quarter millimetre per year. Unlike elsewhere in your body, the cartilage in your ears grows until the day you die.

8. A very strong muscle

Unlike any other muscle in the body, the heart continuously contracts. The heart contains millions of muscle cells all working in perfect harmony. The average human heart beats almost 35 billion times a year.

9. Can you stomach this?

Stomach acid is potent enough to dissolve metal.

10. To space and back

If every strand of DNA in your body were uncoiled and straightened out, it would stretch 10 billion miles – from the earth to Pluto and back.


11. Smile!

The outer part of our tooth enamel is the hardest surface in the entire body.

12. In the way

You actually see your nose all the time, but your brain ignores it. This is because of an effect called stereo parallax, where each eye sees the nose in a different position. The retina sends the image to the brain, but the brain shuts it out. 

13. Drink up

Your brain consists of 73% water, but it takes only 2% dehydration to impair your concentration and memory. Starting to feel sluggish at your desk? Go pour yourself a glass of water.

14. Bright as a bulb

Your brain generates between 12 and 25 watts of electricity. This provides enough energy for a low-wattage light bulb.

brain and lightbulb

15.  Flotation pool

If your brain didn’t float in a pool of cerebrospinal fluid, it would be crushed by its own weight. This fluid also acts as a vital shock absorber. 

Image credits: iStock