9 Bonkers Facts About the Human Body That’ll Make You Look at Yourself Differently


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The human body is a beast of a machine. The heart is a timeless masterpiece. The brain literally named itself. 

All of that being said, tread lightly through this list of fascinating facts about the human body. Some of them will make you look at yourself a little differently.

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1. Your Brain Sleeps One Half at a Time In Unfamiliar Surroundings

Ever feel like you just can’t clock a good nights rest when you travel, no matter how many tips from sleep experts that you follow? Yuka Sasaki, an associate professor of cognitive, linguistic, and psychological sciences at Brown University writes, “the left side seems to be more awake than the right side” in unfamiliar instances. This is partly why we wake up easier. You could say it makes sense on a survival level, in that you don’t necessarily want to go full crash mode in uncharted waters. But also, come on brain.

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2. Your Heart Rate Increases Around a Minute Before You Exercise

If it feels like your body is kicking into overdrive and your heart is racing even before you start your workout, you’re not imagining things. According to The National Institute Of Health, there’s a “7.4% increase in [heart rate] from more than 5 min prior to the start of exercise at 95% maximal work-rate.” This is all known as the anticipatory cardiorespiratory response. In short: Your body is getting you pumped up before pumping iron.

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3. Our Muscles Usually Only Operate at 60% Strength Capacity

We all have an internal regulator that effectively prevents us from exerting our full strength. In fact, our muscles are usually only operating at about 60% of their max strength. Whenever anyone is thrown into an extreme life and death situation, the internal regulator stops and we’re able to use our full strength. 

However cool this might sound, it does come with a catch. We can’t normally tip over cars and carry trains around for a reason: Whenever we use our muscles at full strength, we end up putting our bodies in extreme stress and rapidly damage our muscles, bones, and other body parts.

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4. You’re Taller in the Morning Than in the Evening

Before you run around searching for the nearest tape measure to put this revelatory fun fact to the test, take note that we’re not talking about anything extremely significant here. But you really do wake up a bit taller in the morning. 

This is due to the fact that, during the day, the cartilage in our knees and other areas in our bodies slowly compresses. However, when we go to sleep, the cartilage then goes back to normal. On average, people are around 1 centimeter taller in the morning than in the evening.

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5. Microscopic Mites Are Having a Party on Your Face

I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to take it there so quickly, but facts are facts. Yes, there are indeed colonies of microscopic mites named Demodex Folliculorum and D. Brevis hanging around and feasting off your face’s oil glands. You can’t see them, but under a microscope they appear as eight-legged creatures with a deeply unnerving resemblance to spiders. So at least you know you’re never really alone.

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6. When You Stare at Blue Sky, You Can See Your White Blood Vessels

As you experiment with this and likely proceed to see strange, worm-like, white things dancing around your eyeballs in front of a blue sky backdrop, don’t stress. Your eyes haven’t been stormed by an army of unruly worm monsters. You’re simply (and quite amazingly) seeing some of your body’s white blood cells stretch to pass through the blood vessels in your eyes. Even cooler, though, is that the speed at which the white dots move will fluctuate in accordance with your pulse.

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7. Our Brains Are Kind of Just Winging It With the Visuals

Specifically, we’re talking about how our brains have to filter out a lot of what they see. Proprioception is a fascinating rabbit hole to fall down. Basically, your brain makes its best guess on distances, and then dictates the positioning of your arms and legs at all times. With little to no effort at all, you can close your eyes and touch your nose. 

However, if you had a stroke or damage that part of your brain, you’d end up with dysmetria. This makes for an exceedingly difficult time when it comes to subconsciously measuring distances.

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8. If Your Immune System Knew You Had Eyes, You’d Go Blind

This is what we call “immune privilege,” and it’s an absolute trip. Basically, immune privilege is a state of immune responsiveness that’s been turned down a notch within certain tissues and organs in your body. This ensures that your eyes are able to maintain clear corneas and retinas, which play instrumental roles in keeping your vision intact. 

The thing is, though, if your immune system were to suddenly be made aware of your eye’s existence, the immune privilege would be no more. Your immune system would incite war upon your eyes as foreign invaders. All very, very bad stuff, and even the potential for blindness.

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9. The Acid in Your Stomach Can Burn Your Skin and Damage Your Teeth

This is exactly why it’s so crucial that your body generates saliva if you’re going to puke. Without that saliva, you’d have no acid buffer, and things can go south very quickly. It’s pretty wild just to stew over the fact that there’s all that potential for terrible damage to your body from within your body. 

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