Amazing Anatomy: Incredible Functions Of The Human Body That Occur NaturallyBy Abigail T
The human body is a highly intricate, extraordinary, magical thing. Every cell, nerve ending, and organ is designed to work together, not only to keep us alive but to keep us functioning healthily. As humans, we might not even know the full extent of all our bodily processes. Our internal organs are working hard to help us survive, and yet we’re not entirely sure what everything does and what role they play in our wellbeing. We’re about to dive into and learn more about our bodies. These facts may be wild to hear, but these body parts are meant to work for our good at the end of the day. Learn more about what your body does for you, and appreciate it a little more today!
Women who have been through pregnancy will tell you that it’s a wild ride. Your body goes through a slew of changes, and most of these changes will cause discomfort. Pregnancy is no joke from fatigue, back pains, heartburn, and constipation!
You may be aware that children share their parents’ DNA. But did you know that the mother can also obtain part of the child’s DNA? DNA sharing works both ways, as the fetus’s cells transfer to the mother through the placenta. In a way, mother and child become one and the same.
Miracle of the foreskin
These days, skincare products include some pretty wild and exotic ingredients. It’s not just collagen that can benefit your skin and give it that tight, plump glow. Foreskin from a man’s penis can also be used to treat skin problems.
Believe it or not, some researchers have used foreskin to treat burns. Some doctors even use it for skin grafts! How incredible is that? Who knew that a seemingly useless piece of skin on one person could work miracles for another person?
We’re grossed out by phlegm and boogers, so much so that we blow our nose every time we feel something slipping through our nose. But phlegm is actually just 95% water, which means there’s nothing to be grossed out about.
The phlegm that our bodies produce contains beneficial antibodies. Every day, our body creates a liter of snot, but not all of it comes out of our nose. At the end of the day, we swallow up all that snot!
Science reveals new and baffling things about the human body and our abilities. A study by a British marketing firm discovered that 96% of research participants could tell the difference in the sound of a hot drink being poured as opposed to a cold drink being poured.
The viscosity of a liquid, which changes with heat, determines how it splashes when it pours into a container. All those trips to Starbucks ordering a hot mint tea and iced Americano have familiarized our ears with the subtle differences in the sound of each drink pouring!
Dying and regenerating
The Weizmann Institute of Science found that the human body generates fewer cells than it loses. Out of the 3.8 million cells produced every second, we lose 300 billion cells in a day. That means that we’re dying more than we’re living every day.
Even wilder is that the cells in our bloodstream and our gut only have a lifespan of one week. Every 100 days or so, we have entirely new cells in those parts of our internal organs. How crazy is that?
The intestine’s bodyguards
Remember the mucus that lines our stomach so that the corrosive acid won’t escape and harm other organs in our system? Well, it may protect the stomach, but it certainly doesn’t do enough to protect the intestines. The intestines have their own warrior cells that protect them.
However, these cells are exposed to stomach acid. As a result, they dissolve. However, there’s no need to worry because these cells automatically regenerate in 5-7 days. Enterocytes are the primary cell in the intestine.
The protective power of the brain
The brain is the reason all human activities are possible. Without it, our muscles would atrophy because there aren’t any command signals being sent. The simplest act like picking up a pen or typing on a computer wouldn’t be possible without our brains.
The brain is in control of our fight or flight responses. In the instance of a possible accident, it’s our brains that tell us to move out of the way of that oncoming car or to slow down on our bike.
The hard-working muscle
Considering all the internal organs and muscles in our body, you’d think that the hardest working would be the legs or arms. You wouldn’t ever think that it would be the eyes! Our eyes have over 2 million working parts to get them to function.
The eyes move in every direction and have the quickest response reaction. Especially these days, with our activities of scrolling through Instagram, bingeing YouTube videos, and reading things on a screen constantly, the eyes work extra hard to focus.
Nose to the rescue
Receptors on your tongue can alert you when you eat a rotten slice of bread or drink milk that has gone sour. It picks up these bitter and sour tastes and lets your brain know that it’s probably not the best idea to keep eating.
But did you know that the nose has a role in this too? The nose can actually “taste” bitter elements. Scientists believe that these receptors react to the chemicals used by bacteria to communicate and send signals to our brains. What a wild concept!
The importance of yawning
Everyone yawns when they’re sleepy. When the baby starts yawning, it’s probably a sign that he’s ready for bed. It’s also one of those actions that are contagious. One person in the room yawns, and everyone else will start yawning too.
But yawning has a more important purpose than just signifying sleepiness. It cools down the brain! In the same way computers overheat, our brains will occasionally get hot. The fix for the computer is the automatic fan response. For the human body, it’s the yawn!
Many bodily functions and responses are not under our control. You might be able to hold in a laugh or a fart, but you won’t be able to stop yourself from things such as sweating or blushing. Everyone has to be vulnerable and show that they’re embarrassed or flustered. You can’t hide it.
What is the purpose of blushing? Why can’t we control it? Apparently, a scientist from Vienna believed blushing to be related to necrophilia—big yikes! Thankfully this was never heeded by the greater science community, so don’t take this theory as fact.
Glowing from within
You’ve probably heard of a pregnancy glow or “glowing from within.” Some people consider this to be metaphorical because, of course, humans don’t glow the way glowsticks do… or do they? Why don’t you step into a dark room and find out?
Scientists in Japan have found that the human body emits light in pitch-black darkness! No, not like a flashlight, but just enough to be detectable. So technically, we do glow, and there is a possibility that this research can be further used to detect diseases.
The eyes and the weather
Your body isn’t the only part of you that reacts to the change in weather. There’s no need for a weather forecast as long as you have a mirror into which you can look into your own eyes. When it’s cold out, your eyes dry up!
This is caused by the blood vessels constricting. It can cause dryness and itchiness during the winter seasons. Meanwhile, as spring and summer roll around, your eyes can sometimes get watery and even red, a symptom of hay fever.
Dance to the beat of your heart
Did you know that your cardiovascular system, AKA your heart, reacts to music naturally? Music has a physical effect on your body along with its psychological ones. Whether you’re listening to Back or Cardi B, your heart will react to it.
Studies have shown that your blood pressure, breathing rate, and heart rate increase during crescendos. Your heartbeat won’t particularly sync up with the BPM of the song, but it’s got its rhythm! This is why listening to music is such a well-rounded experience.
Sebum is to blame
If you have an oily complexion, you’ll know that taking care of it can be a nightmare. This grease on your face is also known as sebum, and it’s normal for everyone’s faces to get a little oily sometimes. The amount of sebum each person has depends on genetics, diet, stress factor, and more.
Sebum is responsible for pretty much all your skin woes. From pimples to blackheads to the little tiny bumps around your face, it’s all caused when sebum comes in contact with dirt and bacteria. This is why maintaining a skincare regimen suited for your skin is so essential!
Sleep and growth
Sleep is an integral part of our day. It gives us the rest we need to start a new day, and many even swear by getting lots of sleep to get over a cold quicker. But did you know that there is an alternative purpose of sleep that we may have missed?
Throughout all the day’s activities, the human body experiences pressure on the joints and cartilage. This causes us to shrink by about ½ an inch! But when we sleep, our brains produce growth hormones which help us gain that ½ inch back.
Unconventional methods from the past
Before the time of advanced science, technology, and chemicals in every product, human beings used natural resources available to them to treat their ailments. This is how we have things like herbal tea. Sometimes the resources used are pretty unconventional.
A while back, urine has been used for exfoliating and teeth whitening! The thought of putting urine anywhere near our face in today’s world is pretty gross, but not to the people in the old days. Urine is also often used in the production of gunpowder.
Not all important
Ideally, a human being has a complete set of organs in their bodies. This would help them live life and function to their best abilities. However, the human body can survive without some of the organs we consider so vital.
Removing the following organs will alter the way the body works, but it will in no way harm the person. These organs are the appendix, ovaries, tonsils, testicles, liver, kidney, gall bladder, and spleen. If the organ comes in pairs like lungs or kidneys, many can survive on just one.
Weather affects health
Is your mood directly correlated to the weather? Do you immediately feel run down when it’s cold and rainy outside? All of these are bodily responses to the weather changing. Without sounding too poetic, our bodies are connected to the nature around us.
Some scientists believe that when it gets colder outside, our tissues will expand, and our joints will thicken, creating stiffness in our bones and, therefore, causing pain. This is why your cramps after PE or working out can get worse through the winter nights!
Other organs with scent receptors
When you think of the sense of smell, you immediately think of the nose. The nose is the only organ associated with anything to do with scent and fragrance, but a study by Dr. Jennifer Pluznick has shown otherwise. Apparently, scent receptors don’t only exist in the nose.
It’s also present in the kidneys! They can even smell the urine as it passes by our system. How crazy is that? Of course, we don’t experience this “smell” in the same way as the smells we pick up from our noses. But the kidney probably detects the smell of the toxins in urine.
We shed too
Snakes occasionally shed their skin to reveal new and healthier skin underneath. Depending on the size of the snake, this shedding process can take a while. Did you know that they’re not the only species to shed skin? Yes, it is what you think.
Humans also shed the outer layer of their skin every 28 days or so. In a year, we shed around 9 pounds of dead skin! As new skin cells generate below the epidermis, the topmost layer makes room. In other words, our skin naturally exfoliates itself without us having to get a scrub.
Corrosive acid in our stomach
You know those chemicals in beakers that you see in movies, and how when they’d get knocked off the table, they could create a hole in the ground? The acid in our stomach has the same kind of corrosive quality. Its low pH level means it can erode teeth, bones, and other internal organs.
A thick mucus layer in the stomach keeps the acid in its place, but sometimes, this isn’t enough. People with acid reflux and heartburn issues experience immense pain because the acid escapes and makes its way up the esophagus, creating a burning sensation.
Saliva has become such a normal part of our lives that we don’t acknowledge its existence in our mouths. But saliva plays an important role. It takes a day for saliva to spread around the taste from the food we eat to our taste buds. Saliva also helps food to go down a lot easier.
Stress levels can affect the amount of saliva in our mouth too. We produce 2 to 4 pints of saliva every day, but on a stressful day, the production cuts back. This is why we often feel our mouths dry when nervous or stressed.
Babies beat us
While adults are generally considered to be more knowledgeable and even wiser, babies will beat them in many things. A study by University College London and the University of Sheffield found that babies are better than adults at facial recognition.
The study shows that babies can differentiate between human faces at just six months old. They can even tell the difference between the faces of monkeys! Meanwhile, the adults who participated in the study couldn’t differentiate one monkey from the other.
Our gut is a warzone every day, with the enemies being good and bad bacteria. If you don’t already know, some bacteria can be beneficial for your health, and there are others that can be detrimental. Both exist in our guts.
This is no reason to be alarmed, though. Our body hosts about 40 trillion bacteria, most of which are in our gut! The good and bad bacteria fight for balance. If there’s too much of either kind, we can get sick. Food that is good to ensure a healthy gut includes anything with probiotics, wholegrain, or plant-based.
Involuntary muscle twitching
Have you ever been so excited to crawl into bed after a long day, only to be woken up by your leg or arm jerking just as you begin to fall asleep? It’s the most annoying thing ever. All you want to do is get a good night’s sleep!
In the process of getting from being awake to deep sleep, our bodies transition between consciousness and subconsciousness. Some scientists believe that our nerves can “misfire” during this process, which is why our bodies would often twitch. There are four stages to sleep; this is part of the first.
The purpose of our nails
Our nails seem pretty useless compared to talons and claws possessed by other creatures that roam this Earth. Aside from enabling us to pull together our outfits and look cute by getting them painted, what is the purpose of our nails?
Our nails signify a lot about our health. Changes in the color and texture of the nails can mean that you’re ill, even indicating kidney disease for some people. Also, did you know that out of all the nails, our thumbnails take the longest time to grow?
Our brains are responsible for the things we think about on the daily. Sometimes, we can’t control the thoughts running through our heads. They may often be unpleasant, and too many of these intrusive thoughts have the ability to get us down.
Many people around the world suffer from mental health issues like anxiety and depression, some more severe than others. It’s important to talk to someone if you’re feeling particularly unwell, whether that’s someone you can trust or a professional therapist.
Emergency superhuman strength
Have you ever seen someone weightlifting and thought, how are they so slim but so strong? Professional weightlifters lift hundreds of kilograms worth of weights. They don’t make it look easy, but they show everyone that it’s possible to do.
Did you know that when high amounts of adrenaline are pumping through our veins in times of danger, humans can also obtain an emergency kind of superhuman strength to help us survive? You may not be a professional weightlifter, but when the moment calls for it, you might be able to lift the same amount of weight!
Scientists have long carried out research on the development of newborn babies brains. Some findings suggest that human beings are born with 100 billion neurons. Imagine a tiny baby brain with all those neurons zapping around! But this doesn’t last.
Although adults have larger brains than newborns, they have half the number of neurons they had as babies. This doesn’t mean that we get dumber as we age. It simply means that from ages 0-3, the baby’s brain is wired to be super receptive because it’s essential for early development.
Did you know that our immune system doesn’t only protect us from bacteria and viruses? It also acts as a line of defense against cancer cells daily. Yes, daily! We have our immune system to thank. Being immunosuppressed reduces your ability to fight off infections.
Cancer and tumor cells are the result of normal cells that do not divide correctly. This may result in mutations or damage. The immune system attacks those tumors that begin to form before they grow and cause us grief. In new research, doctors are using patients immune system cells to fight their cancer.
While we work hard every day on our schoolwork or career, our internal organs are also working hard to keep us sustained. Our cells continue to divide into identical cells in a process known as mitosis. This happens at every moment of every day.
Even when we take breaks during the day, such as little naps or sleep through the night, our cells never cease to carry out this division process. The purpose of mitosis is to repair and regenerate the cells so that the body can continue to grow and function.
Computers for brains
Did you know that your brain works thirty times faster than a computer? And not just any computer—the fastest computer! The next time you’re feeling bad about yourself, remember that you have every ability to outsmart your gadgets. There are differences between the brain and computers, though.
The brain is a mess of neurons, while computers are very logical and precise in their running. However, doesn’t this just show you how powerful our brains are? Even through a tangled mess, it can still send signals to our entire body quickly enough for us to carry out all our activities without difficulty!
As aforementioned, the weather can drastically affect a person’s health. When the weather gets colder, one can come down with anything from the flu to the common cold and even arthritis. All of this causes significant discomfort for the sufferer.
Barometric pressure changes as the temperature outside decreases. This often creates pain in the joints. You may feel cramps, tightness, or stiffness in certain areas. Stay hydrated with warm drinks to combat this discomfort, and stay covered up! Some with arthritis choose to move to warmer climates to ensure more comfortability.
Everything feels everything
You may think that only the skin and muscles can “feel,” but discoveries in science have proven this perception wrong. Chemical sensors are present all over our bodies, which means that our other organs have the ability to “sense” things.
This isn’t the same as feeling a touch of texture. The sensory receptors in our organs can sense the chemicals that float around our bodies. This means that if there’s anything potentially harmful in our bodies, our organs can detect it before we feel the physical effects.