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10 Crazy Facts about Our Bodies That Most Don't Know About

Updated on December 3, 2015

The Complex Mysteries of the Human Body

Just when we think we know everything about ourselves, new facts and mysteries are thrown at us about our bodies and being human. Our body is an intricate and complex system that to this day continues to baffle researchers despite the long history of medical knowledge we have. Because of this, it is no wonder that we are still finding out new facts about our bodies and the explanations behind them. Seriously, who knew we had tongue prints? Let's check some other crazy facts out.

Humans have mites
Humans have mites | Source

Humans Have Mites

Yes, you heard that right. We share our face with tiny microscopic creepy crawlies. These tiny creatures known as Demodex mites have found their homes on our faces. They are from the microscopic arachnid’s family which is in the same class as ticks and spiders. Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences did a study that uncovered some mysteries surrounding these mites and opened up the doors to even bigger mysteries that we have yet to solve.

Although this study did lead to the discovery that we all have mites, what it did not solve is the mystery of where we actually picked up these little critters. What we did find out, however, is that we actually have two mite species known as the Demodex brevis and the Demodex folliculorum which tag along on our face. Another study performed showed that people over 18 years of age that were tested, 100% of them were found to have mite DNA on their face.

There is no relation between the two of types of mite species at all. In fact, analysis shows that the brevis shows more of a close relation to dog mites more than anything while the folliculorum does not. This leads us to believe that we as humans have somehow been blessed with these different species of mites in different ways and with different histories of how they managed to get on our face. How lucky are we? Although there is not a great deal of evidence to support the theory that we picked up our little roommates from dogs, it is probable that we did get them from some type of domestic animal species.

We have bacteria cells
We have bacteria cells | Source

Humans Are Full of Bacteria

As if the mites were not enough, it has also been found through the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Maryland, that we host a large number of live bacteria inside us which outnumber our own cells 10 to 1. If you are a normal human being, just the thought of this will have you cringe as you automatically associate bacteria with illnesses like scarlet fever, cholera or typhoid. However, this bacteria that resides inside us is in some instances, helpful to us. The bacterial cells or microbiome we have in our body helps with things like digestion, self-defense and other physiological processes.

Let's take for instance, yogurt. Yogurt contains ‘good’ bacteria known as lactobacilli which have been proven to ease antibiotic induced diarrhea. It has been said that our intestines hold the largest amount of bacteria in our body and therefore, you might consider eating more yogurt to maintain a good balance of good bacteria.

Our Hair Can Clean Up Oil Spills

Did you ever stop to think why we wash our hair? Hair before being shampooed collects our natural body oils. Using shampoo strips the hair of these oils which gives it that fresh shower-cleaned feeling and appearance. With this knowledge, Phil McCrory, a hairdresser in Madison, AL, conducted an experiment at home where he filled up a pool of water. He then stuffed a pair of his wife's pantyhose with about 5 pounds of hair and tied it together into a hosiery ring. He placed the ring in the pool and added motor oil in the center of it. When he pulled the ring out of the pool, he noticed that the oil had been absorbed into the hair in the hosiery and no traces of oil were left in the pool water. He took his idea to NASA to have it tested which later on showed that 25,000 pounds of hair collected in nylon bags can successfully absorb around 170,000 gallons of oil.

Since then, hair has been used in different situations to clean up oil spills. For instance, during the 2007 San Francisco Bay Cosco Busan oil spill, human hair was used by a group of volunteers to clean up the beach. Similar to a sponge, the oil was absorbed from the water.

Since then, hair has been used in different situations to clean up oil spills. For instance, during the 2007 San Francisco Bay Cosco Busan oil spill, human hair was used by a group of volunteers to clean up the beach. Similar to a sponge, the oil was absorbed from the water.

Our tongue shows our health
Our tongue shows our health | Source

Our Tongue Displays Our Health

Little did we know that our tongue can indicate a lot more than what color ice cream or candy we just ate. In fact, it can tell us what type of health we are in. A normal, healthy tongue is pink in color. It is when you start seeing other shades that you might want to have things checked out. For instance, a puffy tongue that looks to have teeth marks on each side could be a sign that you are not getting enough nourishment. This is often the case with athletes. A grayish-white tongue could be the sign of fungus left over from antibiotic use . White patches inside the mouth and on the tongue could indicate a fungal infection known as thrush and a red and blistered tongue might mean a lack of saliva often resulting as a side effect of allergy medications or blood pressure issues.

Human stomachs have Hydrochloric Acid
Human stomachs have Hydrochloric Acid | Source

Humans Carry Hydrochloric Acid Inside Them

One dangerous liquid you are allowed to carry with you on a plane is located inside your stomach. It is hydrochloric acid and is secreted by your stomach lining and cells. This acid is a corrosive compound used in the industrial world to treat metals and steel. However, your stomach is protected from this poisonous acid by a mucous lining and it is instead used safely to break down your foods in your digestive system. It can be mind-blowing to realize you have such a lethal acid inside you yet it doesn't affect any exposed molecules or cells. This is because the digestive enzymes that our stomachs produce function well in this type of acid. The protective mucus coats our stomachs and our cells are rapidly replaced with new ones.

Humans are taller when they wake up
Humans are taller when they wake up | Source

We Can Get Up to 1cm Shorter by Bedtime

Got something on the top shelf you just can't reach? You will have a better chance reaching it without a chair in the morning. This is because you are taller in the morning when you first wake up. In fact, by the time you go to bed, you are as much as 1 cm shorter than you were rising from bed. Our spine gets compressed during the day since we hold an upright position and when we sleep at night, the spine is able to decompress which is where the extra length comes in. Pretty nifty isn't it? It is said that astronauts, once in space and freed from our Earth's gravitational pressure, gain as much as 2 inches.

Being Tall Can Cause Cancer

Speaking of height, I guess it pays to be a little short. Apparently, being tall can cause cancer. Well at least it raises your risk for it. Studies performed on women showed a 1.07 increase in the risk of them getting ovarian cancer for around every 5 cm of height increase. It seems safe to say the taller a woman is, the greater her chance of getting ovarian cancer. Scientists are baffled by why height and cancer are linked. One specific theory they have, however, is that taller people have more cells in their bodies which leaves to more potential of one of them becoming cancerous.

Wow! Can you imagine all the wonders of being tall? Seriously, who the heck knew that being tall could kill you? It's so bizarre isn't it? So does this mean I have less chances of getting cancer during the evening when I go to bed? ha! Too mind blowing if you ask me. Oh well, look for my last part of this bizarre series of human body craziness.

Humans can't breathe and swallow together
Humans can't breathe and swallow together | Source

We Are Unable to Breathe and Swallow at the Same Time

Go ahead and try it. We are not physically capable of breathing and swallowing at the same time. We actually have unconscious reflexes that enable us to do each one separately and without concern. Animals don't have a problem doing it. The larynx is positioned lower in our throat than that of animals which is why we are able to speak and come up with a different range of sounds. You can forget about taking a drink and a deep breath at the same time though.

Humans make aspirin in their bodies
Humans make aspirin in their bodies | Source

Our Bodies Can Make Aspirin

Although many hangover sufferers might disagree with this, it is true that our bodies make their own salicylic acid. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, people who did not recently take an aspirin were still found to have salicylic acid in their body. It is said that it could be the benzoic acid found in fruits and vegetables.

Humans glow in the dark
Humans glow in the dark | Source

We Glow in the Dark

Although we can't pass as human night lights, our bodies do indeed glow. We emit very small quantities of light that differ from the infrared radiation caused by our body heat. This 'glow' rises and falls throughout the day. Even though we have known for some time that chemical reactions inside the cells of all living things can cause small amounts of light, until now, we have not been able to actually capture on camera the light that we humans produce. Bioluminescence images were taken by scientists in Japan and released to the public to prove this fact.

So there you go folks...10 crazy facts about our human body that you probably didn't know about! Did you? I certainly didn't. It's kinda cool when you actually think about it. :-)

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