The human body is probably the most amazing thing you can find in nature, but even though we spend all day with ourselves, there are still so many things that you probably don’t know about your body. I therefore compiled an incredible list of unbelievable fun facts about the human body you can use to drop in every conversation and impress your friends.
1. A false pregnancy (scientific term: “pseudocyesis”) is a mental illness in which the affected person shows all the symptoms of a pregnancy without actually being pregnant. In addition to the absence of menstruation, swelling of the breasts and abdomen can also occur. The disease is an example of how great the influence of the psyche can be on a human organism.
2. The Hungarian psychologist László Polgár put forward the theory that every human being can be educated to become a genius if only you start encouragement early enough. He convinced his wife of the idea and taught his three daughters chess at the age of four. All three daughters reached the rank of Grand Master. One of the daughters became the second-best female chess player in the world – behind her sister Judit Polgár, who even rose to become the world’s best female chess player. Overall, she ranked eighth worldwide.
3. A study came to the conclusion that the lack of exercise in the Western world kills the same amount of people as smoking does.
4. In the early 20th century the Irish woman Mary Mallon, known as “Typhoid Mary”, became infected with typhoid fever and became the first person in the US to be infected with the bacterium, but not to fall ill with it. Due to her ignorance, she infected more than 100 people with the deadly disease and caused the death of several friends and acquaintances.
5. If you tell yourself that you slept well last night even though you didn’t, you will still feel less tired. This is called placebo sleep.
6. The “Lady Macbeth effect” is the phenomenon of wanting to wash yourself physically, even if you have only “dirtied” yourself mentally. If a person is ashamed of an event, he or she will find it liberating to take a shower.
7. When your fingers swell from being underwater too long, it is because of an evolutionary trait of your nervous system. The fingers swell so as to provide more grip in wet conditions.
8. The human eye already reached its final size at the age of three and no longer grows afterwards.
9. On average, a person farts 14 times a day.
10. In the last 150 years, the average body size of a human has increased by four inches.
11. Scientists assume that the first human who will reach 150 years or more, has already be born.
12. Italian Frank Lentini was born in 1889 with three legs, four feet, 16 toes and two genital organs. Until his death he earned his living as a circus artist.
13. Only two percent of all people have green eyes.
14. The human kidney can only produce urine up to a salt content of two percent. Salt water, however, has an average salt content of three percent, so our kidneys have to draw water from the body to lower the salt content of the water they take in. The consequence is that after drinking salt water you die of thirst, even though you have actually consumed water.
15. It is impossible to draw a six while turning your foot clockwise simultaneously.
16. Regions of the earth where the inhabitants clearly exceed the average life expectancy of the world population are called “Blue Zones”. Currently, only five Blue Zones are known worldwide. These are Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), Nicola (Costa Rica), Ikaria (Greece) and Loma Linda (California). The reason why people there live so long is not clear.
17. Women blink more frequently than men.
18. A human’s lips are almost always as long as their index finger.
19. Timothy Ray Brown is the first man to be cured from AIDS. In 2007 he received a bone marrow transplant due to his blood cancer. After the treatment, doctors could not detect HIV in his body anymore. To date, nobody knows how this was possible and whether the disease will come back. This phenomena could only be detected on two further people.
20. Babies are born with 300 bones. In adulthood this number decreases to 206.
21. In the case of “alien hand syndrome”, the affected person has no control over one of his or her hands. The hand acts completely uncontrolled and in the worst case can even try to strangle the affected person.
22. All people begin their lives as females. The male Y chromosome becomes active just after the fifth week of gestation.
23. Only five percent of all humans have red hair.
24. City birds are now integrating cigarette stubs into their nests as they have recognized that these are effective against insects.
25. In war times significantly more boys than girls are born. This is called the “Returning Soldier Syndrome”.
26. Rhnull (rhesus factor zero) is the rarest blood type in the world. So far, only 40 people worldwide are known to have this blood group.
27. The highest temperature ever measured in a human body was 115.7 degrees Fahrenheit.
28. There is more bacteria on your own skin then there are living people in the world.
29. The color that the human eye perceives in complete darkness is called “Eigengrau” (German for “intrinsic gray”).
30. Humans are the only species that cook their food.
31. In addition to the known blood types of the AB0 system, there is a fourth, very rare variant. It is colloquially called the Bombay blood group, since only about 20,000 people worldwide have this blood group, almost all of whom come from India.
32. Corals are chemically so similar to human bones that they are used to treat fractures.
33. A study from 2002 showed that 60 percent of people cannot have a ten minute conversation without having lied at least once.
34. Redheads are less sensitive to pain and more sensitive to temperature compared to people with different hair colors.
35. Because people born blind smile from birth, scientists have concluded that smiling is a genetically determined behavior which is not learned.
36. Shakuntala Devi holds the world record in mental arithmetic. In 1980 a computer randomly chose the two 13-digit numbers 7,686,369,774,870 and 2,465,099,745,779, which Devi had to multiply. It took her only 28 seconds for the correct answer: 18,947,668,117,995,426,462,773,730!
37. Transplanted testicles continue to produce the donor’s sperm.
38. Jeanne Calment holds the world record as the longest living human being. She was the first person to verifiably live to celebrate her 116th to 122nd birthday. She was born in 1875, saw the Eiffel Tower being built, sold paint brushes to Vincent van Gogh and died in 1997 at the age of 122.
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39. Joy Milne from Britain has the ability to recognize whether somebody is suffering from Parkinson’s by smell. In a scientific test, she identified the six people among the twelve test subjects who suffered from Parkinson’s disease based only on their smell. However, she also claimed that a seventh person who was actually part of the control group had the disease. Later on, this person was also diagnosed with Parkinson’s, so that Joy ultimately passed the test without a single error. To this day, scientists do not know how Joy Milne’s ability works, but they hope to use this knowledge to find new ways to detect Parkinson’s disease.
40. In the evening, people are about half an inch smaller than in the morning, as the spine compresses during the day due to the effects of gravity.
41. Goosebumps are a reflex from the times when man had much more hair. When our hair stands up, we appeared bigger and more menacing to enemies.
42. A 20 second hug increases the oxytocin level of people so much that afterwards there is a much greater trust between them.
43. Women suffering from “hyperlactation syndrome” produce excessive amounts of breast milk – up to 1.6 gallons of milk a day. A woman’s average milk production is usually less than 0.3 gallons per day.
44. Blind people are able to dream and to see pictures in their dreams.
45. The “spotlight effect” describes the phenomenon of people often imagining that other people are paying much more attention to them than they actually do.
46. It is genetically determined whether you can role your tongue or not.
47. With an IQ of approximately 230, the Australian mathematician Terence Tao is the most intelligent person in the world.
48. The bone density of people with a mutated LRP5 gene is eight times higher than in normal people. For these people, it is virtually impossible to suffer a fracture in a normal way.
49. According to current scientific knowledge, it is assumed that about 8,000 years ago all people in Europe were dark skinned, and that a light skin color only developed recently over the course of the past millennia.
50. A study has shown that four percent of all people dream exclusively in black-and-white.
51. Red-haired people produce more vitamin D than people with a different hair color.
52. The reflex that we automatically lead a small wound to our mouth is an innate protective mechanism. The saliva in our mouth helps the blood to coagulate and kills bacteria.
53. The most common fracture in the human body is the collarbone.
54. People with red hair are more resistant to anesthetics.
55. When you immerse yourself in water, your breathing stops automatically, your heart rate slows down and the blood increasingly migrates from your hands and feet into your upper body. This is referred to as the diving reflex, the exact cause of which has not yet been fully determined.
56. On 14 May 1939, Lina Medina gave birth to her first child at the age of five years and seven months. To this day, she is considered the youngest mother ever. When her parents took her to the hospital, the doctors first thought she was suffering from a tumor. The father of the baby is unknown.
57. Mothers instinctively kiss their newborn baby. Through the kiss the mother takes up bacteria and viruses of the child and forms antibodies which can pass through the mother’s milk to the child.
58. After the shooting of the first part of “Planet of the Apes” in 1968, actors and producers unanimously reported that a phenomenon of self-imposed “racial segregation” occurred during lunch breaks. The actors preferred to stay with their “fellow species” in the same costume instead of mixing randomly or spending time with their usual friends.
59. At minimum, a person only needs one kidney with a capacity of at least 75 percent to survive.
60. The oxygen levels of a fetus in the womb are almost as low as on Mount Everest. The low oxygen level helps the fetus to sleep most of its time in the womb.
61. 450 men die of breast cancer in the U.S. each year.
62. People who laugh more frequently, live a longer life.
63. If one donates a part of one’s liver, the missing part will grow again.
64. In a kidney transplant, the non-functional kidney is usually not removed from the body. Instead, the new donor kidney is inserted into the groin, meaning that after a kidney transplant, the patient has three kidneys.
65. A red hair color paired with blue eyes is the rarest combination of hair and eye color. Only one percent of the world’s population has these characteristics.
66. A person has between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs on their head.
67. 90 percent of all people live in the northern hemisphere.
68. If you trace your family tree back 25 generations, you will have 33,554,432 direct ancestors. Assuming no incest was involved.
69. A normal person can distinguish up to one million colors. Approximately three percent of the female population can, however, perceive over 100 million different colors due to an additional photoreceptor in the eye.
70. The human eye reacts so well to light that it could see the flame of a candle in absolute darkness from about 30 miles away.
71. Lynlee Hope Boemer was born twice. In the 23rd week of pregnancy, the girl was taken out of her mother’s womb by doctors to remove a tumor. After the successful operation, the girl was placed back into the womb, and twelve weeks later the healthy baby was born.
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72. There are so many languages in the world that it is not known how many there currently are. Scientists believe that there are more than 6,500 to 7,000 different languages.
73. Currently, there are about seven billion people on earth who make experiences and memories every day. A total of 220 years of new human memories are generated per second.
74. To date, about 5,000 people have already turned their ashes into an artificial diamond after death.
75. Okinawa Island in Japan is the safest place in the world. More than 450 people, who are more than 100 years old, live there.
76. The skin region between a person’s eyebrows is called “glabella”.
77. “Broken Heart Syndrome” is the medical term for the separation of a beloved partner. The symptoms can be so strong, that the patient gets cardiac dysrhythmia, suffers from pain and is not able to breathe properly.
78. The deaf cannot get seasick.
79. The Russian Fyodor Vasilyev holds the record for most children fathered by a man with a woman. In the 18th century, his wife gave birth to a total of 69 children, including four sets of quadruplets, seven sets of triplets and 16 pairs of twins. Later on, he married again and fathered another 18 children with his second wife, including two sets of triplets and six pairs of twins.
80. There is a low probability that women can become pregnant a second time during pregnancy. This so-called phenomenon of “superfetation” is highly unlikely, but nevertheless possible. The last known case of a woman who was pregnant twice at the same time occurred in 2009.
81. Babies already dream in their mother’s womb
82. With a height of 8.23 inches, Sultan Kösen from Turkey is the tallest man in the world. He has shoe size 62 and the distance from his wrist to the tip of his middle finger is 11.2 inches.
83. From water depth of 33 feet and more there is no more red light. For this reason blood seems to be green at this depth.
84. It is possible to die even 24 hours after drowning. People who die from “dry drowning” do not tend to notice their discomfort while the water continues to spread in their lungs until they die.
85. People who own iPhones have sex more often compared to Android users.
86. While the mortality rate for cancer ten years ago was 215 deaths per 100,000 people, it has subsequently decreased to 172.
87. The DNA among humans differs by just 0.1 percent. In comparison, a chimpanzee is genetically different from humans by 1.2 percent.
88. On average, children start lying at the age of four.
89. In the 19th and 20th centuries, a family clan with predominantly bluish skin lived in the Appalachian Mountains in the USA. This was due to a disease called methemoglobinemia, which was repeatedly passed on within the Fugate family due to the isolated living conditions in the mountains.
90. Scientists assume that 10,000 years ago all humans still had brown eyes. It was only around this time that the first people with blue eyes were born in the region around the Black Sea. This is seen as an indication that humans continue to develop in their evolutionary biology.
91. Humans do not develop exclusively through the genetic mixture of mother and father. On average, every human is born with about 100 mutations.
92. Although women’s brains are slightly smaller, they are more efficient than men’s brains.
93. About 80 percent of people breathe exclusively through one nostril. Which nostril is used by the body varies approximately every 2.5 hours. While the other nostril is not being used for breathing, the body cleans it.
94. Around the region of the Ecuadorian city of Quito, a large number of the inhabitants suffer from a special form of dwarfism. The genetic mutation which inhibits growth also protects those affected from all forms of cancer and diabetes.
95. The colder your bedroom is, the higher is the likelihood of having a nightmare.
96. The “hyoid bone”, a small bone in the oral cavity under the tongue, is the only bone in the human body that is not connected to another bone.
97. There are more people with obesity than malnutrition worldwide.
98. The human brain consumes about 20 percent of the body’s total energy.
99. A Scottish study found that most heart attacks happen on a Monday.
100. Beards have a health-benefit effect. They prevent pollen from entering the mouth so that the possibility of getting hay fever is decreased.
101. Approximately one in 5,000 babies is born without an anus due to a deformity. Doctors then need to artificially reconstruct it after birth.
102. The urine and sweat of people suffering from “leucinosis” smells of maple syrup. Those affected lack an enzyme needed to break down certain protein elements. For this reason, their bodies increasingly contain the degradation product “sotolone”, which smells strongly of maple syrup.
103. Regardless of body size, all mammals take an average of about 21 seconds to empty their bladders. Scientists refer to this as the “law of urination”.
104. If men do not ejaculate for more than seven days, their testosterone levels rise by more than 45 percent.
105. A few hours after an infection with HIV, post-exposure prophylaxis which can significantly reduce the risk of contracting the virus is possible.
106. Depending on the cause of crying, tears have a different chemical composition.
107. Before American Kim Peek died in 2009, he was able to read a complete book in less than an hour and remember every detail. He was able to reproduce the exact content of over 12,000 books and was the role model for Dustin Hoffman’s character in the film “Rain Man”.
108. Eight out of ten people who have been struck by lightning are male.
109. The “Diderot effect” is the phenomenon whereby after a purchase some people feel compelled to make further purchases in order to create an appropriate overall picture. If, for example, you buy a new item of clothing, this often leads to dissatisfaction with old items of clothing. You therefore buy clothes that go better with the new garment.
110. A bite of the Brazilian wandering spider can cause men an erection that lasts for hours.
111. The average distance a man walks on foot during his life is four times around the world.
112. The “Medical Students Disease” describes the phenomenon of medical students suffering from the disease they recently have learned about in class.
113. Humans and dolphins are the only animals, which have sex solely for pleasure.
114. The Flynn effect describes the fact that the average IQ increases with each generation. However, it is not clear why we humans are becoming more and more intelligent.
115. A positive pregnancy test in men may indicate testicular cancer.
116. Human fingers are so sensitive that they can feel objects of 13 nanometers in size. This means that if one finger was the size of the earth, it could feel the difference between a house and a car.
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