The human body is an amazing thing. There are so many different things your body does (or can do) on a regular basis that you might not even know about. But there are also some things about your body that are weird or even down-right creepy. Some of the creepy facts about your body that you never knew will likely surprise you a bit, while others, though strange, really do make sense if you think about them. For as interesting as the human body tends to be, it's also awfully mysterious, so if this isn't something you've studied extensively, there are a lot of facts that are fairly unknown to many people.
Even if you think you know a lot of weird facts about the body, there's pretty much always more to learn. Not only that, but some conventional wisdom about human bodies is actually more old wives' tale-like than actual, true fact. Though knowing some of the stranger facts about the body may not really have that much of an impact on your day-to-day life (and some of them will probably gross you out a little bit), they can definitely make you more in awe of all that your body is and can do.
1. Your Feet Can Get Bigger When You Get Older
You've likely heard that your feet can grow during pregnancy, but they can also change shape as you grow older. Dr. Cary M. Zinkin, DPM, a podiatric sports physician, told Reader's Digest that this is because tendons and ligaments can get weaker, which causes your arch to flatten out and your feet to get bigger. This isn't something that's a sure thing, however, so there's a chance that you won't notice any difference at all.
2. Mites Might Live In Your Eyelashes
As gross as it sounds, it's true. Mites really might live in your eyelashes. CBS News reported that many people have parasitic mites living in hair follicles. Typically they're not that big of a deal, but they can sometimes cause some irritation.
3. A Quarter Of The Bones In Your Body Are In Your Feet
It sounds like it can't possibly be true, but it is. Dr. Sarepta Isaac, DPM, a podiatrist in Atlanta, tells Romper by email that you have 26 bones in each foot, which means you have 52 in both feet. And since you have just over 200 bones in your body, that's roughly a quarter in just your feet.
4. Your Organs Move A Bit When You're On A Rollercoaster
Have you ever felt like your stomach was dropping while riding on a rollercoaster? Well, that's because it sort of is. Dr. Maged Rizk, MD, a gastroenterologist, told Reader's Digest in the aforementioned article that your stomach and intestines move a little bit on rollercoaster rides. It's not dangerous, however, so you don't have to worry about it.
5. You Make Approximately A Teaspoon Of Tears Per Hour
National Geographic Kids reported that people make about one teaspoon of tears each hour of the day. When you add it all up, that's probably more than you thought every day.
6. Your Tongue Print Is Individual
You know that your fingerprints are unique, but, as it turns out, so is your tongue print. A 2016 paper published in the Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences noted that it might be able to be used for biometrics and other identification purposes.
7. Blood Pressure Rises Hours Before You Wake Up
In a post that he wrote for Mayo Clinic, Dr. Sheldon G. Sheps, MD noted that your blood pressure decreases while you're asleep, but starts to pick up steam a couple of hours before you wake up. So it's not just higher when you're actually awake.
8. Your Lungs Aren't The Same Size
You might think that your lungs would be the same size, but that's actually not the case. York University in Toronto noted that the left lung is smaller because it's on the same side as the heart, while the right lung is shorter than the left because of the placement of your liver.
9. You Have More "Foreign" Cells In Your Digestive Tract Than Human Cells In Your Body
"There are more foreign cells or bacteria and fungi in your colon than human cells in your whole body," Dr. Glenn H. Englander, MD, a gastroenterologist, tells Romper by email. That's something that could definitely creep you out a bit.
10. Your Stomach Lining Blushes When You Do
Dr. Melissa Lem, a Canadian family physician told CBC that when you blush, the lining of your stomach also turns a little bit red. It's more than just an outward expression.
11. You Can Break A Rib Sneezing
It might not sound like something that's truly plausible — and it is quite rare — but Dr. Scott Davies, a physician who specializes in respiratory diseases, told the Chicago Tribune that it's possible to hurt yourself and even break a rib just by sneezing.
12. Many Body Measurements Are Approximately Equivalent
The American Grandparents Association noted that many of your body measurements are approximately equivalent. Your height is about the length of both of your arms when they're outstretched and some professional experts can use these different measurements to put together an idea of what someone might have looked like.
13. Your Mouth Makes Between Two And Four Pints Of Saliva Each Day
It might seem like way too much, but WebMD noted that your salivary glands typically produce anywhere from two to four pints of saliva each day.
14. Each Cell In Men And Women's Bodies Are Different
In an op-ed that she wrote for the Boston Globe, Dr. Paula A. Johnson argued that there are differences between men and women in each cell, but that much more research is needed to understand how these differences affect people's health. That's pretty interesting.
15. You Have Over 30 Joints In Your Feet
Isaac says that your feet contain 33 different joints, which seems like an awful lot for such a small area. But if you think about how many bones are in your feet and how they move, it makes more sense that there'd be so many joints.
16. Babies Have More Bones Than Adults
Babies have more bones than adults because some of their bones fuse together as they grow older and further develop. WebMD noted that babies are born with about 300 bones, but that fully grown adults have 206.
17. There Are Some Conditions That Mostly Women Deal With Because Of Pelvis Shape
In a blog post that she wrote for her blog, Dr. Barbara Bergin, MD, an orthopedic surgeon, argued that women are more likely to suffer from some conditions because of the way that their pelvis is shaped, which affects how they sit and move. Bergin argued that women should learn to "Sit Like A Man" or "S.L.A.M." because it will help alleviate pain and other issues.
18. The Liver Can Seriously Regenerate
You may have heard that you can donate part of your liver as a live donor, which you can't do for every organ. That's possible, as Mayo Clinic noted, because your liver can then regenerate the part that was lost (and the part of your liver that you donated will grow as well).
19. Humans Are The Only Animal That Blushes
This isn't just part of a Mark Twain quote, it's also true. The Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthroprogeny noted that humans are the only animals that blush as an emotional response.
20. You Can Detect About One Trillion Different Scents
You've probably never thought about how many different scents your nose can tell the difference between before, but as it turns out, it's quite a lot. The BBC reported that a study published in Science found that humans can detect about one trillion different scents, but noted that more research is needed and that the number might be even higher.
21. You Spend About 10 Percent Of The Time You're Awake Blinking
A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reported that people blink about 15 to 20 times each minute, meaning, if you do the math, you spend about 10 percent of the time that you're awake blinking.
22. You're At Your Tallest First Thing In The Morning
You might think you're the same height all the time, but that's actually not exactly true. As this video from Business Insider shows, laying down and sleeping relieves the compression of your spine, which allows you to "grow" just about two centimeters taller by the time you wake up.
23. Your Small Intestine Is Way Longer Than You Are Tall
Your small intestine is all coiled up in your abdominal cavity, so it's sort of difficult to grasp just how long it is. Curiosity noted, however, that if you stretched out your small intestine, it'd be about four times longer than you are tall. How about that?
24. Many People's Mouths Are Constantly Inflamed
"It is estimated that 75 percent of people have at least mild gum disease, with the most common symptoms being bleeding when brushing, bad breath, and dark and swollen gums," Dr. Ron Baise, a London-based dentist, tells Romper by email. "The first two of these symptoms are considered normal to a lot of people."
Estimates vary a bit, with some saying about 50 percent and others saying that about 80 percent are dealing with some sort of gum disease. Still, the inflammation that comes along with gum disease isn't normal.
25. Your Heart Might Be Able To Predict Something Dangerous Or Exciting
A 2012 paper published in Frontiers in Psychology concluded that your heart might be able to anticipate when something dangerous or exciting is going to happen, as your heart rate starts to pick up a bit before it actually happens. So if you get that feeling, you might want to listen to it.
26. Humans & Similarly-Sized Apes Have About The Same Number Of Hairs On Their Bodies
Yes, you read that right. Gizmodo reported that the amount of hair that humans have is about what experts would expect on a similarly-sized ape, but human hair is much more fine in texture than apes' hair, which makes it difficult for people to tell.
27. Your Pinkie Fingers Seriously Impact The Strength Of Your Hands
Your pinkie fingers might have more of an impact than you would have thought. Laurie Rogers, an occupational therapist and hand therapist told the New York Times that, if you didn't have your pinkie finger, the strength of your hand would decrease by about 50 percent. That's a whole lot.
28. Humans Give Off A Light That The Eyes Can't See
You might not have thought that you actually glow a little bit. A paper published in PLoS One noted that human bodies give off a little bit of light that the eyes can't see, suggesting that the body actually "glimmers."
29. Your Body Has Different Odors At Different Ages
A 2012 study published in PLoS One found that people smell differently at different ages. Though that characteristic "old-person smell" is well-publicized, you might have ever thought that other age groups also have a scent.
30. Stomach Acid Is Super Powerful
"The acid in your stomach is more powerful than any acidic food you can name," Englander says. You likely knew that stomach acid is relatively strong, but you might not have realized just how strong.
31. Hair Is Really Strong
Though you might not think that it is, your hair is actually really strong. The Guardian reported that an entire head of hair can handle about 12 tons, which is, of course, quite a bit of weight.
32. There Are More Than Five Senses
You've been told time and time again that most humans have five senses: sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. But that's not exactly all there is to it. The World Economic Forum noted that humans also have senses like proprioception, which is the sense of where your body is in space, and other senses that you might not typically count as senses.
33. Your Skin Weighs About Eight Pounds
You might not ever consider your skin in terms of how much it weighs, but National Geographic noted that an adult's skin can weigh about eight pounds. Other sources cite it at anywhere from six to 12 pounds, however.
34. There Are Over 100 Muscles, Tendons, & Ligaments In Your Feet
"Yes, in such a small space, but it makes sense because the feet serve such a large function of literally carrying around the human body each day, from the time we learn to walk as toddlers to the time we become bed-bound in our later years," Isaac says. When you think about how many bones and joints are in your feet, that too helps you better understand just how much is actually going on down there.
35. Your Blood Is About Seven Percent Of Your Body Weight
Healthline reported that your blood is usually approximately seven percent of your body weight. You probably don't typically think of body weight as having to do with much beyond the muscles and fat stores in your body, but there's actually a lot more to it than you might think.