Your body is as complex and diverse as snowflakes, but there are a few facts about your body that you may not know. In fact, most of us don't know exactly how our bodies work on a cellular level or what keeps us breathing when we are asleep. Below are 7 cool facts about the human body that will make you think about your health and wellness differently.
You Are Constantly Replacing Your Body’s Tissue
Your body is constantly growing new cells to replace the old ones. Every seven years, your entire skeleton has been replaced with a new one. And every year, 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced with new ones. This means that even though our bodies have a set amount of cells, by the time we reach two years old, most of our cells have already been replaced several times over.
Your Skin Is Thicker Than It Looks
The average adult has 8 pounds of skin, which covers 22 square feet — enough to carpet a small room. But the most amazing part is its thickness: The skin on your fingertips is as thick as a rubber glove; the skin on your eyelid is thinner than a napkin; and if you could pull all the wrinkles from your face, you'd have an extra two feet of skin.
Your Body Automatically Repairs Damage and Replaces Broken Cells
Just like a self-driving car can spot a pothole and steer around it, the human body has its own systems for maintaining itself. DNA repair enzymes constantly search for problems in the genetic code that makes up our cells and fix them. This makes it possible for your body to replace the millions of cells that die or become damaged every day, from the skin to muscle tissue to blood.
Stomach Acid Is So Strong It Can Dissolve Razor Blades
The average adult stomach produces between 1 and 3 liters of gastric acid per day. That's enough hydrochloric acid to dissolve razor blades. The reason we don't get burned by all this acid is that it's produced in tiny amounts and only when we eat something — otherwise, a mucus coating protects our insides from damage. However, stomach ulcers can form if too much acid builds up or if this mucus layer gets damaged.
Your Skin Is Your Largest Organ
We often think of our skin as a "wrapper" for the rest of our organs, but the skin itself is actually an organ. It's made up of three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue. The epidermis is the outermost layer, and it's also the thinnest. The dermis contains blood vessels, oil glands, hair follicles, and sweat glands. The subcutaneous tissue is where you'll find your fat deposits.
Your Skeleton Is Made of Living Cells That Grow New Bone Tissue Throughout Your Life
Of the 206 bones in the human body, 26 are of the skull, which protects your brain and is composed of 8 cranial bones and 14 facial bones. The number of bones you have depends on your age. Babies are born with 300 bones, but as they grow, some of these fuse together to form 206 adult bones.
Your skeleton is made of living cells that grow new bone tissue throughout your life. Muscle contractions stimulate bone-producing cells called osteoblasts to make new tissue. Other cells referred to as osteoclasts break down old tissue called "motor neurons."
Your Heart Could Beat on Its Own
The heart pumps blood throughout the body by means of electrical signals that cause it to contract and relax in a coordinated way. In other words, your heart wouldn't beat if it weren't for these electrical pulses.
If something goes wrong with the electrical system, such as when someone has a heart attack, one of the many jobs in a list of physician jobs is to install an artificial pacemaker to send those pulses and keep the patient alive until his or her own electrical system can be fixed.
Fully understanding your body is something that can take a lifetime of work. However, these 7 things might give you a general idea about how it works or at least allow you to identify the causes for some of your poorly understood quirks. Hopefully, this information will give you a greater respect for your body and what it does day in and day out.