15 Interesting Facts About The Human Body: Myth or fact?

So I came across this list about the fifteen interesting facts relating to the human body, and thought I would take a look and research them myself.

Unsurprisingly, some of them turned out to be inaccurate. I’ve done some research into the claims and compiled a list of articles to explain the realities of the claims.

1: Your nose can remember more than 50,000 different scents.

This claim is inaccurate as it vastly underestimates the abilities of the human nose, which is in reality comparable to a dog’s nose. Check out my full write-up on the subject here.

2: The lifespan of human hair 3 to 7 years on average.

Many people believe the hair to be alive, but in reality human hair is comprised of mostly dead cells. The follicle can spend up to 7 years producing a single hair strand, however, the hair itself is dead. You can read more about the life cycle of hair here.

3: After eating too much, your hearing is less sharp.

I couldn’t find any credible research in favor of this claim. The consensus between medical professionals is that although a big meal may draw blood away from other body regions to aid in digestion, it would be nowhere near sufficient to cause any auditory sensory problems. So this one is just flat out false.

4: The two strongest muscle in the human body is the masseter (jaw muscle) and the tongue.

As with many claims on this list, there’s a bit of truth in them. The masseter could potentially take the title as it can exert the greatest force, however this is mostly due to mechanical advantage. By many accounts, the heart takes the cake for hardest working muscle. After all, it’s been working non-stop since before you were born, and will continue to do so until you die. You can read more about the strongest muscle debate here.

5: Our eyes can distinguish between 10 million different colors.

Like the nose, the abilities of the human eye are often vastly underestimated. current estimates put the color sensitivity of the human eye at around 10 million for trichromatic people, and up to 100 million for tetrachromatic individuals.

6: Our brain has the capacity to read 1,000 words per minute.

This one checks out! some of the top readers have been clocked at above 1000 words per minute, however only exhibited an 85% comprehension rate. Unfortunately, these elites account for less than 1% of the population.

7: Men burn fat faster than women.

This is also true in part. Men do indeed burn fat faster than women, but it’s more down to genetics than anything lifestyle related. Men have a higher percentage of muscle mass, which requires more fat to fuel, while women are more predisposed to storing fats to nourish a child during pregnancy.

8: Women blink twice as much as men.

Again, this one is true. According to this study, women blink spontaneously approximately 19 times per minute, compared to 11 in males.

9: Babies have 60 more bones than adults

This is again true to an extent. Infants and babies have more bone fragments which later fuse into a single adult bone, while they are also missing some adult bones altogether. For more info, check out this article.

10: All babies are color blind at birth, they only see black and white colors.

At birth, a baby can indeed only see in black and white and shades of grey. This is because the nerve cells in their retina are not fully developed. 

BONUS FACT: infants eyes also lack the ability to focus on nearby objects.

11: Everyone has a unique smell, fingerprint and tongue print, except twins.

This is true! Fingerprints and individual scents are unique to an individual, this also applies to identical twins. The fingerprints of twins may be similar but are not identical.

12: Your eyes remain the same size after birth

The human eye grows dramatically from birth, through to about 15-17 years of age. In particular, it grows along the axial length (depth) in order to “fine tune” the eyes focus over the formative years.

13: Banana’s share 50% of our DNA

This is a popular saying that gets repeated over and over, but unfortunately, there isn’t actually any publication that specifically says this. In fact, the genome of the banana was only drafted in 2012, and revised in 2016, so there is still a lot we do not know about the bananas DNA. As for the statement itself, it is likely untrue, however many living organisms share common DNA sections to perform similar functions (such as glycolysis).

14: Cornea gets its oxygen directly from the air, making it the only part of the body without a blood supply.

This one is also true. The cornea does have some blood supply provided by the limbus, but this does not extend into the inner region of the cornea. to compensate, the cornea extracts required oxygen from the atmosphere and passes it to the cellular layers to maintain proper function. you can read more about corneal respiration and corneal hypoxia in this paper by Dr. Rachel Peterson.

15: Most babies are born with blue eyes, which will change later due to the exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun and melanin.

This is untrue. babies of Asian, African and Hispanic demographic are born with dark, sometimes completely black eyes. Caucasian babies are often born with blue or grey eyes, which will darken over time to their natural color. This change is not brought about by exposure to ultraviolet light, however, melanin is the pigment agent responsible for determining eye color.

 

As we can see, not everything you see or hear about on the internet is true, and misinformation, especially when dealing with your health is dangerous. 

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