Science Fact of the Week 8 - The Human Body

With the Bodies Exhibition in town, I thought it might be nice to publish a series of interesting facts about the human body!

Did You Know?
  • A human being loses an average of 40 to 100 strands of hair a day.
  • A cough releases an explosive charge of air that moves at speeds up to 60 mph.
  • Every time you lick a stamp, you consume 1/10 of a calorie.
  • A foetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months.
  • A sneeze can exceed the speed of 100 mph.
  • Every person has a unique tongue print.
  • According to German researchers, the risk of heart attack is higher on Monday than any other day of the week.
  • An average human drinks about 60,000 litres of water in a lifetime.
  • A fingernail or toenail takes about 6 months to grow from base to tip.
  • An average human scalp has 100,000 hairs.
  • It takes 17 muscles to smile and 43 to frown.
  • Babies are born with 300 bones, but by adulthood we have only 206 in our bodies.
  • Beards are the fastest growing hairs on the human body. If the average man never trimmed his beard, it would grow to nearly 30 feet long in his lifetime.
  • By age sixty, most people have lost half of their taste buds. By the time you turn 70, your heart will have beat some two-and-a-half billion times (figuring on an average of 70 beats per minute.)
  • Each square inch (4 square cm) of human skin contains of twenty feet (6 m) of blood vessels.
  • Every human spent about half an hour as a single cell.
  • Every square inch of the human body has an average of 32 million bacteria on it.
  • Fingernails grow faster than toenails.
  • Humans shed about 600,000 particles of skin every hour - 0.8 kg a year. By 70 years of age, an average person will have lost 50 kg of skin.
  • At rest, a person breathes about 14 to 16 times per minute. After exercise it could increase to over 60 times per minute.
  • New babies, at rest, breathe between 40 and 50 times per minute. By age five it decreases to around 25 times per minute.
  • The total surface area of the alveoli (tiny air sacs in the lungs) is the size of a tennis court.
  • The lungs are the only organ in the body that can float on water.
  • The lungs produce a detergent-like substance which reduces the surface tension of the fluid lining, allowing air in.
  • An average adult body contains about five pints of blood.
  • All the blood vessels in the body joined end to end would stretch 62,000 miles or two and a half times around the earth.
  • The heart circulates the body's blood supply about 1,000 times each day.


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