Have you ever wondered which of your organs is the heaviest? If you guessed your brain or lungs, you are wrong.
The largest organ of the human body is the skin. Yes, the skin is an organ. And it not only consists of the outer layer we can see, but has a total of three layers: the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous tissue (hypodermis). The thickness of the skin differs throughout the body – for example, it’s thin underneath the eyes and thick on the soles of your feet.
So, how much does our largest organ weigh? According to The Journal of Investigative Dermatology the skin of most adults weighs roughly 10kg, depending on factors such as gender, weight and age. If you were to spread the skin out on a flat surface, it would cover about 2m².
But what about your internal organs? Here’s a breakdown of how much they weigh. Note that these figures will differ from person to person.
1. The liver
A healthy adult liver can weigh up to 1.6kg, which makes it the largest solid, non-porous organ in the body. It’s about the size of a rugby ball. The liver holds 10% of the body’s blood and pumps nearly 1.5l per minute.
2. The brain
The adult human brain accounts for 2% of our total body weight and weighs roughly 1.5kg, once again depending on one's size and age. There's an ongoing debate about the link between brain size and intelligence. A number of studies have reported moderate correlations between brain size and intelligence.
3. The small and large intestines
Your intestines are not only fairly heavy, but also quite long. The small intestine weighs around 2kg and is 7m long, while the large intestine weighs 1.5kg, but with a length of only 1.5m. Although the large intestine is shorter, it's called the large intestine because of its diameter of around 7cm.
4. The heart
Your heart is a fist-sized, hollow muscle that weighs between 300g and 350g. The size of your heart corresponds with the size of your fist. Your heart pumps between 5l and 7l of blood per minute through your veins – which for such a relatively small organ is impressive.
5. The kidneys
Each kidney weighs anything between 150g and 300g, once again depending on your age and size. This means that an average kidney weighs roughly the same as a mobile phone. Your kidneys can filter up to 1 500l of blood daily.
6. The lungs
The total weight of your lungs (“pulmo”) is about 1kg. These spongy, cone-shaped organs process more than 10 000l of air per day. The right lung is slightly bigger than the left lung. The right lung has three lobes and the left lung only two.
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