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The Top 10 Strangest Things You Didn’t Know About the Human Body

by ncoles   May 18, 2011 at 7:00AM  |  Views: 32,191
The human body is a mysterious and marvelous thing. While science has done a great job of explaining how the body works, it has also discovered some strange facts as well.

10. Your Feet are Really Boney

Photo: Purestock/Getty Images

The average adult skeleton has a total of 208 bones ( we are actually born with around 270 bones, however with age some bones fuse together). Each foot contains 26 bones, along with 33 joints and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

The name of these 26 bones are as follows: calcaneus (heel bone), talus, cuboid bone, navicular bone lateral cuneiform bone, intermediate cuneiform, medial cuneiform bone, five metatarsal bone, five proximal phalanges, four intermediate phalanges and five distal phalanges. Sexy names, hug? Add the number of bones in each foot together and you get a grand total of 52 bones. Conduct some basic math and, hey presto, exactly 25% of the human body’s bones are located in the feet.

9. Overeating Reduces Hearing

Photo: Compassionate Eye Foundation/David Oxberry/OJO Images Ltd/Getty Images

If you’re heading out to a concert, be careful not to overeat because if you do it’ll affect your hearing. Eating too much can have short term and long term effects on your hearing.

Hearing loss in old age is very common, however according to a 2008 study 50 percent of age-related hearing impairment is avoidable. A study conducted by Erik Fransen at the University of Antwerp found that overeating reduces hearing. This is because over consumption leads to obesity and cardiovascular disease which decreases blood circulation.

According to Fransen, “Hair cells die when they do not get enough oxygen and when toxic free radicals do not get transported away fast enough.” And guess what gives us the ability to hear? Thousands of tiny hairs. So protect your hearing and lay off the Twinkies.

8. Brain Power

Photo: D-BASE/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The human brain is a mightily powerful organ. It requires 20 percent of the oxygen and calories a human consumes, yet it only makes up two percent of the body’s total weight. The brain is 80 percent water, and to operate only needs 10 watts of energy.

The strangest aspect of the brain is its workload. You’d think the brain would be most active when we’re awake. Well it’s not. The brain is actually working the hardest when we sleep. According to scientists, the brain is actually more active at night during REM sleep. This is the part of the sleep cycle where we dream. This might help explain why people with higher I.Q. have more dreams. Now, don’t start thinking you’re stupid if you don’t remember all of your dreams. Most dreams only last two to four seconds, which is way too short to register or even remember

7. The Lungs are Big

Photo: Zoran Milic/iStock Vectors/Getty Images

The lungs may not seem that big in relation to other parts of the human body, but they sure do contain an abundance of surface area. The surface area of the lung is actually equivalent to that of a tennis court. Far out! The reason for the mass of surface area is so the body can efficiently and quickly oxygenate the blood. The large surface area comes from thousands of branching bronchi and tiny, grape-like alveoli that are filled with microscopic capillaries. These are what draw out the oxygen and pump it through your body. Booyah.

6. Why Your Eyes Close When You Sneeze

Photo: Peter Cade/Iconica/Getty Images

The human sneeze is very powerful, producing velocities of up to 650 miles per hour. That’s so strong it’s higher than a category 5 hurricanes. Yikes. But this doesn’t explain why our eyes close when we sneeze (It’s not the velocity of the sneeze that forces the eyes shut). Rather, the reason the eye close during a sneeze is because the muscles used to create the sneeze are also connected to face muscles that control your eyes. The sneeze causes a reflex of the muscles in the face that close your eyes. Scientists are not certain why this occurs, but they theorize the eyes close to protect them “from microorganisms and particles from our sneezes.”