From digesting grub, pumping blood and healing itself, the body is really pretty damn amazing. If you still need convincing, here’s 9 amazing facts to prove how incredible our bodies really are…
1. Prune time
Think you know why our fingers and toes get wrinkly during bathtime? Think again… It has nothing to do with our skin absorbing the water, but is because our brilliant bods are adapting to improve our grip on things in wet, slippery conditions.
2. Raising the brow
Hairy and high maintenance, it makes you wonder why eyebrows exist. Well, wonder no more… Aside from helping you communicate, eyebrows serve a very useful purpose. When you go for broke on the treadmill or running for a bus, the odd bead of sweat stings and causes temporary blurry vision as it trickles into your eye. Now imagine if eyebrows didn’t exist. Consider them a built-in sweatband!
3. Blue blooded
Royalty or not, our blood is always red. So why do our veins look blue through your skin, you might ask? Well, it’s because of the different wavelengths different colours of light have – blue is shorter than red – and how far into your skin the blood vessels are. Blue light just happens to be absorbed by the blood and make it back to your eye.
4. Toe-tally amazing
Yes, the amazing facts just keep on coming… So, see if you can fathom this. Your big toe is a toe, but your thumb isn’t technically a finger. Go figure. Some say it’s because thumbs have a different anatomy and function to fingers, whereas all five toes have a similar form and function.
5. Eyelash invaders
Some mite not like this amazing fact but, depending on how old you are, you probably have eyelash mites. These tiny, harmless creatures live on old skin cells and the natural oil produced by human hair follicles. They typically grow to a third of a millimetre and are near-transparent, and spend most of their time right at the base of the hair where it meets the skin. Around half the population have them.
6. Spit it out!
Did you know your salivary glands produce two to six cups of saliva a day. Six cups of saliva would come close to filling a big, 2L bottle of pop!
7. Ear, ear!
Dazzle friends with this amazing fact… The smallest bone in the human body is in the middle ear. The staples (or stirrup) bone is only a minuscule 2.8mm long.
8. Seeing things
Heterochromia is a curious condition where people have different coloured eyes. It’s rare in humans, though apparently actors Kate Bosworth, Mila Kunis and Kiefer Sutherland have heterochromia. However, it’s quite common in dogs.
9. Guess who?
Ever wondered why you only get to find out a baby’s sex at 20 weeks? Well it’s because for a little while in the womb, an embryo’s privates parts are male or female. It’s thought to be mainly down to the SRY gene, found on the Y chromosome, which controls how other genes function and stops the gonads becoming ovaries.