1. If your lungs were expanded and laid out completely flat, each would take up the surface area of a soccer field.
2. “Cankles” are actually related to a muscle! It’s called the soleus, and it contains one of the highest concentrations of slow twitch muscle fibers in the body, meaning your cankles have crazy endurance. A new meaning of the phrase “legs for days.”
3. Information travels between nerves at a speed of up to 120 meters per second. For us Americans who know nothing about metric, that’s 268 miles per hour!
4. Speaking of nerves – there are so many nerves (86 billion, to be exact!) in your brain that it is estimated that it would take 3,000 years to count them all individually.
5. The smallest bone in the body is the stapes and it’s in your ear. It roughly weighs as much as a United States penny.
6. The largest bone in the body is the femur and comprises over 25% of a person’s height.
7. The ring finger contains the fewest muscle insertions of all the fingers and shares its nerves with the pinky finger, which is why it’s so hard to move it without moving your other fingers. (And I bet you just tried!)
8. The human foot contains 26 bones and the hand/wrist contains 27. Y’know what they say, hands are just the feet of the arms. (Nobody says that.)
9. 14% of people have one fewer muscle than everybody else. It’s called the palmaris longus and you can find it by looking at your palm and then acting like you’re squeezing a large grapefruit. If you have one, it’ll pop out as a ropey tendon in the middle of your wrist.
10. The largest cell in the human body is the ovum, or the egg cell, and is roughly the size of a grain of sand. Reason number 709,328 why the female body is badass like no other.
11. The smallest cell in the human body is the sperm cell. Just gonna leave that one right there.
12. Adult humans blink every 2-10 seconds, whereas infants only blink 1-2 times per minute. Apparently, nobody really knows why.
13. Another body mystery – what happens inside your body when you crack a joint. There are several hypotheses, including the release of trapped air, and the “adjustment” of your bones back into alignment. This last one has been largely debunked.
14. Your skin is amazing! The top layer of it (aka the epidermis) regenerates every 30 days on average.
15. The younger you are and the more empathic you are, the more likely you are to “catch” a yawn. Yawns don’t appear to be contagious in children under the age of 4 (but I promise your infant niece still cares about you!).
16. The brain is the only part of the human body that cannot feel pain. Ironically, the pain sensation is only experienced because of the pain centers in your brain.
17. The machine (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, or ECMO) that replaces the work of your heart and lungs (re-oxygenating blood to be pumped back through the body) takes up an entire hospital room. Compare that to the size of the average human rib cage!
18. Your bones are amazing! They have a compression strength similar to that of stainless steel but are three times lighter. Its compression strength is 10 times that of concrete.
19. Your stomach lining regenerates every 5 to 7 days. The stomach cells are created faster than they can be broken down so that the stomach doesn’t digest itself.
20. The odds of you being born is less than 1 in 400 quadrillion. You are an amazing, unique creation with a body that is a feat of nature. It’s time to start loving and treating it that way!