Science 4 min read

21 Amazing, Fun, and Weird Facts About the Human Body

Anita van den Broek |

Anita van den Broek |

As science keeps advancing, we keep learning more about the amazing potential of the human body. More discoveries shed light on new facts of the body we didn’t know about or update old ideas and values.

Check out this body facts list we compiled for you. If there are any facts, you think we got wrong, or you know of other awe-inspiring facts about the human body that isn’t on this list, hit the comment section!

21 Fun, Amazing, and Weird Facts About the Human Body

1. Humans are bioluminescent. Our eyes just can’t detect the glow because it’s too weak.

2. With over 400 types of scent receptors, the human nose can detect 1 trillion different smells at least. Previously, the number of perceivable odors was thought to be at around 10,000.

3. The skin is the largest organ in the body, accounting for about 15 percent of your total weight.

4. Goosebumps on the skin of human ancestors helped their hair to stand up, making them appear more intimidating.

5. If a roll in the hay feels like a workout, it is! However, don’t count on sex to shed that much of weight because you only burn an average of 3.6 calories a minute.

6. The human tongue is a muscular structure made up of eight interwoven muscles, similar to an elephant trunk.

7. After bone marrow, hair is the second fastest thing that grows on the body, with about 6 inches per year. Male hair grows faster than female hair.

8. The belly button hosts a “rain forest” of bacteria species.

blood vessels in the body

9. Stretched end to end, the total length of all blood vessels in the circulatory system would about 100,000 miles, enough to wrap the Earth four times.

10. If you thought blood vessels are long, think again! Uncoiled and stretched, all the DNA in the human body would be 10-billion-miles long. Enough to reach the Sun and back 61 times.

11. The eye can distinguish up to 10 million different colors.

12. The brain feels pain from over the body but not from within itself, and it survives up to six minutes after the heart stops.

13. The human brain is estimated to be able to handle more than one exaFLOP or a billion billion calculations per second. Although scientists aren’t sure about the brain’s top speed. For comparison, the most powerful supercomputer in the world right now is IBM Summit, with a max speed of 200 petaflops, or 20 percent the brain speed.

14. When awake, the brain generates 10–23 watts of electricity, enough to power a light bulb.

A hand holding a lightbulb

15. Humans are the best long-distance runners on Earth. Ancient humans used to chase after prey until it fell from exhaustion.

16. In a sense, you’re half a banana. The human body shares 50% of its genes, not DNA, with bananas and other plants. Although sometimes used interchangeably, there’s a difference between DNA and genes. Genes are a small part of the DNA.

17. But your genetic makeup is 99.9 percent identical to the person next to you.

18. If printed on paper, your genetic code would span around 262,000 pages or 175 large books. Only about 500 pages of those would be unique to you (0.1 percent).

19. In the morning, you are a little taller than at night by up to 1 inch. Probably it has something to do with all the pressure exerted on the joints during the day. A NASA astronaut came back, after spending a year in the ISS, two inches taller than his identical twin brother.

20. The resolution of the human eye is estimated to be 576 megapixels.

21. After every ten years, you’re almost entirely a new person from a cellular point of view! Your body regenerates itself, except some parts like the brain and tooth enamel, every seven to ten years.

Read More: Fooling Brain Into Thinking Your Body Is Working Harder Than It Is

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Zayan Guedim

Trilingual poet, investigative journalist, and novelist. Zed loves tackling the big existential questions and all-things quantum.

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