The human body is a complex thing. It’s no wonder that some people find the ‘old person smell’ offensive, while others love to snuggle with their dogs because they smell so great! And then there are some of us who love their coffee piping hot, while others can only drink their cup of tea once its room temperature. Ever wondered why?
When it comes to the human body, there is an interestingly long list of things that are weird, funny and amazing; some all of that and then some more.
So I thought it’d be rather fun to put together this list of Fun Facts About The Human Body. Hope you enjoy reading them!
1. Your Feet Don’t Stop Growing Even When You Are Older
Believe it or not, your shoe size doesn’t stay constant throughout life. Trust me….I learnt it the hard way when a bunch of my favourite stilettos stopped fitting me one fine day! Your feet can still grow as you age. Why? After years of wear and tear, tendons and ligaments in your feet may weaken. This can cause arches to flatten, which means feet get wider and longer. It won’t happen to everyone, though—people who are overweight, who get swollen feet or ankles, or who have certain medical conditions, like diabetes, are more prone. If it does happen, the average gain is about one shoe size! So in all earnestness – If you love a pair of shoes, wear it more often! Chances are you might not fit into them a couple of years down the line!
2. Men Handle the Cold Better Than Women
It’s good to know it isn’t just me who hates winters a lot more than my husband does! The truth is that women don’t handle cold as well as men do. Women, by design, have a higher percentage of body fat and conserve more heat around the core. That helps keep vital organs nice and toasty but not the extremities—and when your hands and feet feel cold, so does the rest of your body. Plus, research suggests that women have a lower threshold for cold than men. When exposed to the same freezing temperature, the blood vessels in women’s fingers constrict more than men’s do, which is why they turn white more quickly.
3. The ‘Old Person Smell’ Is Not Just In Your Head
Research suggests that the old-person smell is very real. But so is baby-smell (that we all so love) and a young-person smell. Unlike what we all thought; older people have a less intense and more pleasant scent than the middle-aged folk and teenagers! It’s got a lot to do with pheromones.
4. Motion Sickness Is Caused By a Visual Disconnect That Alters Perception
Contrary to common belief, motion sickness is not caused because your insides – like your stomach and intestines, are moving and causing you to throw up. Instead, it’s caused by mixed signals sent to the brain by the eyes and the inner ear (semicircular canals). If you cannot see the motion your body’s feeling, or conversely, if you cannot feel the motion your eyes see, then it is likely that the brain will get mixed signals and the person will develop some aspect or symptom of motion sickness.
Here is a more proper explanation: Motion is sensed by the brain through three different pathways of the nervous system that send signals coming from the inner ear (sensing motion, acceleration, and gravity), the eyes (vision), and the deeper tissues of the body surface (proprioceptors). When the body is moved intentionally, for example, when we walk, the input from all three pathways is coordinated by our brain. When there is unintentional movement of the body, as occurs during motion when driving in a car, the brain is not coordinating the input, and there is thought to be dis-coordination or conflict among the input from the three pathways. It is hypothesized that the conflict among the inputs is responsible for motion sickness.
5. Room Temperature Coffee Is Offensive To The Senses
Temperature affects flavour. Certain taste bud receptors are most sensitive to food molecules that are at or just above room temperature. So hot coffee may seem less bitter (and, in turn, taste better) because our bitter-detecting taste buds aren’t as sensitive when coffee is hot. Odours influence flavour as well, so even the most bitter hot coffee may taste delicious because of its pleasant aroma, but then room-temperature coffee doesn’t smell the same.
6. The Ridges On The Tip Of Your Fingers Do Not Enhance Your Grip
Many experts think we have fingerprints to improve grip. However, British Researchers have found that a fingerprint’s ridges actually made it harder to hold flat, smooth surfaces! Like Plexiglas, they reduced the skin’s contact area. Instead, they think our prints might help wick water off our fingertips or allow our skin to stretch more easily, which can protect it from damage and help prevent blisters. Other scientists have suggested fingerprints could improve our sense of touch.
7. To Stop Hiccups, Hold Your Breath
It’s thought that if you build up carbon dioxide in your body (by not exhaling), it will help stop your diaphragm from spasms (which is what causes the hiccups). When your diaphragm contracts involuntarily, it forces a quick intake of breath that’s suddenly stopped by the epiglottis—a flap of cartilage located in the throat behind the tongue. That closure is what causes the hiccup sound. Hold your breath for a few seconds and the hiccups will pass!
8. Your Growling Stomach is Actually Begging for Food
The sound of your digestive juices churning and stomach muscles contracting as they get prepped for food is usually what you’re hearing. To avoid those often poorly timed and embarrassing sounds, eat smaller meals more frequently.
9. Bacteria is What Causes Body Odour
Most of us think that our armpits sweat the most and that’s why they stink. Your body has two kinds of sweat glands. Most of those on your arms and legs secrete a mix of water and salt. But the glands in your armpits (as well as your groin) release an oily substance, which bacteria love. It’s actually the bacteria eating the oil that releases the telltale stench. Sweat is still good to release…simply wear a stronger ‘bacteria fighting’ deodorant!
Liked the above mentioned fun-facts about the human body? Well, you now have something new to tell your friends and kids the next time you are trying to prove how ‘knowledgeable’ you are!