10 Weirdest Facts About the Human Body
From WiFi and plasma screens to picture phones, modern technology might seem pretty complex. But according to biologists, the human body is still the most sophisticated—and mysterious—machine on Earth. A single brain cell, for example, can hold as much information as the Encyclopedia Britannica, while human stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve razorblades. Read on as we reveal the 10 strangest-but-true facts about the human body.
1. The human brain is the world's most powerful computer. When it comes to sheer computational strength, today's state-of-the-art processors are still no match for the human mind. According to experts, the average brain has a storage capacity of about 100 terabytes, while the typical PC offers only a fraction of that, about 100 gigabytes.
2. The human body has roughly 60,000 miles of blood vessels. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the body's blood vessels, which include the arteries, veins, and capillaries, would be 60,000 miles long if they were laid out end to end. That's approximately the distance you'd need to travel if you wanted to circle the globe two and a half times.
3. The human nose can remember 50,000 different scents. Although you'd probably never want to recall that many aromas, it's nice to know that your nose is doing its job. That said, you shouldn't be too impressed—humans have about 5 million odor receptors, while dogs, depending on the breed, may have more than 220 million.
4. A human sneeze can exceed 100 miles per hour. People generally inhale air slowly, but when they sneeze, air rushes out of their nostrils at 100 miles per hour or more. It should come as no surprise that it's so easy to catch colds and flu; a sneeze's velocity enables it to propel germs up to 12 feet.
5. The human body contains about 32 million bacteria per square inch. There's no denying it: Every one of us is basically a petri dish for armies of microscopic critters. In fact, the human body contains 10 times more bacteria per square inch than the average toilet bowl does.
6. The largest internal organ in the human body is the small intestine. Contrary to what its name might suggest, the small intestine--the portion of the gastrointestinal tract between the stomach and the large intestine--is anything but petite. In fact, if you unfolded it, you'd find it was roughly 23 feet long.
7. Three hundred million cells die every minute in the human body. It might sound like an awful lot, but it's insignificant compared with the overall number of cells in your body. Scientists estimate that the average human body contains between 10 and 50 trillion cells, so it can afford to lose a few here and there.
8. Human stomach acid is strong enough to dissolve razorblades. According to scientists, human stomach acid is seriously powerful stuff&#mdash;so strong, in fact, that it's capable of dissolving razorblades. But whatever you do, don't attempt to swallow one.
9. Humans produce enough saliva to fill one or two swimming pools. Saliva helps to keep the mouth lubricated and plays a key role in the digestive process. Most experts believe that humans produce between 0.75 and l.5 liters of the fluid a day, which means that during your lifetime, you'll produce enough to fill one or two swimming pools.
10. Humans have as many hairs per square inch as chimpanzees. They might look a lot furrier than we do, but according to biologists, we have the same amount of hairs per square inch as our primate friends. In fact, when scientists at the University of Washington, Seattle, sequenced the genome of the chimpanzee, they found that humans were 96 percent similar to the great ape species.
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