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Sleep Health

35 Weird + Interesting Health and Body Facts That Will Surprise You [2024]

    Last Updated
    February 23, 2023
    min read

    The human body is an endlessly fascinating and complicated machine. So much so that we're discovering new and exciting things about what makes us tick every day.

    If you're curious to learn more about the weird and wonderful world of the entire body, or if you simply can't get enough of just how awesome our bodies are, we've got 35 health and body facts for you.

    5 Fascinating Health Facts

    5 health and body facts

    1. Your sensitivity to certain allergens may be connected to your birth weight.

    A 2019 meta-analysis found that for each kilogram increase in birth weight, infants had a 44% increased risk of childhood food allergies.

    2. In the US, two out of three people do not have perfect vision (20/20).

    Age-related eye diseases are among the leading causes of blindness and low vision.

    3. More germs are transferred by shaking hands than by kissing.

    Our hands come into contact with millions of germs and bacteria each day.

    4. Lack of sleep can kill someone sooner than starvation.

    Chronic sleep deprivation is linked to a higher risk for cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance, obesity, and a host of other life-threatening conditions.

    But how much sleep do you actually need? It depends on your age. Newborns need a whopping 14 to 17 hours of sleep a day, while older adults only need seven to eight.

    5. Stress can make it harder to fall asleep.

    The relationship between stress and sleep is clear: When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol, which initiates your body’s “fight or flight” response and keeps you alert.

    And sleep problems aren't just bad for your individual health – they have a ripple effect on society as well. Sleep debt is said to cost the US an estimated $66 billion per year.

    15 Facts About The Human Body

    6. You don't actually breathe through both nostrils at the same time.

    According to research published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings, humans inhale and exhale through one nostril at a time!

    7. Ten percent of your body mass is made up of your blood.

    The average adult human blood supply clocks in at around eight to 10 pints or roughly five liters. As such, your body has enough iron to make a three-inch-long nail.

    8. The average adult human has 206 bones.

    Over half of the human bones can be found in the upper and lower extremities.

    9. Veins, which carry blood to the heart, have one-way valves that ensure blood flows in only one direction.

    Arteries, which carry blood away from the heart, don't need valves because the blood pressure from the heart is strong enough to make blood flow in one direction.

    10. In the average human adult body, there are at least 67 different species of bacteria residing in the belly button alone.

    The human body is teeming with microbes. Our skin is even said to have its own thriving ecosystem!

    11. Most people shed up to 22 kilograms of skin in their lifetimes.

    You naturally shed dead skin cells daily, but you can also speed up the process when you wash your body with soap or exfoliate your skin.

    12. Your body produces enough heat in 30 minutes to boil half a gallon of water.

    Though the average body temperature is 98.6 F, humans can expend roughly 350,000 joules of energy per hour – the same amount of energy that a 100-watt light bulb gives off.

    13. Humans have 46 chromosomes.

    Or 23 pairs of chromosomes. Meanwhile, peas have 14 and crayfish have 200.

    14. A quarter of human bones are found in the feet.

    The average human foot has 26 bones.

    15. Humans are the only animals that cry when emotional.

    Other animals may shed tears, but they don't do so out of sadness.

    16. Identical twins have an identical smell.

    Everyone has a unique smell, except for identical twins.

    17. Humans share 60% of their DNA with bananas.

    It's common knowledge that humans share 96% of their DNA with chimpanzees. But did you know we're also closely genetically related to bananas and slugs, sharing up to 70% of DNA?

    18. Your height differs depending on the time of day.

    You're taller in the morning than you are in the evening because the cartilage between your bones compresses throughout the day.

    19. The human heart delivers blood to the body through a superhighway of blood vessels.

    That highway consists of approximately 60,000 miles of blood vessels.

    20. Most people produce enough saliva in their lifetimes to fill two swimming pools.

    Saliva protects our mouths from oral infections while also helping us begin digesting our food.

    5 Facts About Our Organs

    5 facts about organs

    21. In most people, the left lung is 10% smaller than the right.

    This is because the heart takes up a significant amount of space on the left side.

    22. The human brain operates on 12 to 25 watts of power.

    This can power a small LED bulb. And yet, the brain is 80% water!

    23. Human noses can remember 50,000 different scents.

    Still, the human nose is not nearly as powerful as a dog's, whose sense of smell is 1,000 to 10,000 times better than ours.

    24. Our brains don't feel pain.

    Yes, we have pain receptors and process pain signals in our brains, but the brain itself does not feel pain.

    25. The tongue is the strongest muscle in the entire body.

    And like fingerprints, our tongues have a unique tongue print.

    5 Health And Hydration Facts

    5 health and hydration facts

    26. Your fluid levels can drop by 2-3% of your body weight before you even notice that you’re thirsty.

    A good indicator of dehydration is the color of your urine. If it’s dark, you need more water.

    27. 20% of your fluids are gained through water-rich foods.

    If you want to stay hydrated, maintain a balanced diet containing foods that have a high water content, like watermelon, grapefruit, cucumbers, spinach, and soups.

    28. You don’t actually need eight glasses of water a day.

    How much water you need to drink in a day depends on three factors: body weight, environmental temperature, and how physically active you are.

    29. You can actually “overdose” on water.

    Hyponatremia is a life-threatening condition that causes the body’s cells to swell. It happens when you over-hydrate and your sodium levels dip dangerously low. However, this is a rare occurrence and is more likely to happen in people with underlying medical conditions, such as kidney failure, liver dysfunction, and chronic diarrhea.

    30. Drinking coffee won't dehydrate you.

    Yes, coffee is a diuretic, but it still has enough water content to sufficiently hydrate you. If you're a coffee drinker, make sure to get regular exercise as well.

    5 Health And Fitness Facts

    31. Exercise boosts brain performance.

    Cardiovascular exercise prompts the creation of new brain cells.

    32. Regular exercise helps you sleep better.

    Moderate aerobic exercise is said to increase the amount of slow-wave sleep or rejuvenate deep sleep.

    33. Exercise is great for the skin too.

    Your skin needs antioxidants to repair cell damage done by free radicals. Regular moderate exercise can signal your body to produce more natural antioxidants that protect your skin cells.

    34. Chronic pain sufferers can benefit from regular exercise as well.

    Not only can exercise relieve chronic pain, but it can also raise one’s pain tolerance and lower pain perception.

    35. Music is proven to improve workout performance.

    It doesn't just make you feel good – listening to music while working out can improve your performance by 15%!


    About the authors

    April Seifert

    April has nearly a decade of writing experience, with 3+ years specializing in sleep content. Her work has been covered by sites like BuzzFeed, Entrepreneur, and Money Under 30. She has an M.A. in Magazine, Newspaper, and Online Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in Communication Studies. As a self-proclaimed expert in all things cozy, she sleeps better at night, knowing her writing helps others sleep in comfort, too.