Monday, August 12, 2013

Top 10 Disturbing Human Body Facts: True Or False?

Thanks to the popular social/discussion site Reddit, the top 10 disturbing human body facts have been identified – but are they true or false? This list includes only the top 10 from a popular discussion on Reddit, along with some extra research. Readers are encouraged to add their own disturbing human body facts.

1. All cells replace themselves over a course of about seven years. So you are not the same mass of cells you were seven years ago, you are a copy.
Research shows that, while this statement is somewhat true, it’s not entirely true. For example, neurons in the cerebral cortex are never replaced. You are born with all the cerebral cortex neurons you will ever have – those that die are not replaced. has more information on cell replacement.

2. Some tumors can grow teeth.
A teratoma.
A certain type of tumor, called a teratoma, is made up of cysts that contain embryonic cell layers called ectoderms, mesoderms, and endoderms. Teratomas have been reported to contain hair, teeth, bone, and on rare occasions eyes, hands, feet and other limbs.

3. Three hundred million of your cells die every minute.
Only about 10% of the cells in your body are cells that make up tissue and organs. Almost 50 percent of the cells in the human body are bacterial cells that live in the digestive system. Another 40 percent or so are blood cells and lymph cells. Experts estimate that an average adult male body is made up of seventy-five to one hundred trillion cells, approximately 4 trillion of which make up the body’s mass. The “300 million” number relates (most likely) to red blood cell death.

4. Your body can turn against itself in auto-immune disorders – effectively killing itself trying to protect itself.
There are over 80 different types of auto-immune disorders, including multiple sclerosis, Celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and Type-1 diabetes. In auto-immune disorders, the body’s immune system isn’t able to tell the difference between healthy tissue and antigens (bacteria, foreign cells, viruses, etc.).

5. If you lost all your empty atomic space, your body would fit into a cube less than 1/500th of a centimeter on each side.
According to Roger Fritz, “If you took away the empty space between atoms, pushed them together until they were touching, the human body would be compressed to about the size of a pencil eraser. Or to put it another way, the human body is 99.996% empty space. But since atoms are also mostly empty space, you could push them together until the nuclei were touching. If you did, the human body would be too small to see.”

6. The ovum (egg) is the human body’s largest cell. The body’s smallest cell is the sperm cell. Neither of them are complete.
True… and False
A sperm and an ovum
The human ovum measures approximately 0.12 mm in diameter and is visible, without a microscope, to the naked eye. Human sperm cells are only 55 millionths of a millimeter or (55 microns) in length. To say neither cell is complete isn’t quite correct, as they are each exactly what they are supposed to be: one half of a whole.

7. One day you’ll no longer be connected to your consciousness.
True? False? No one knows
Neuropsychology posits that all consciousness is the result of a functioning brain, and once the brain is no longer functioning there is no more consciousness. Many world religions, however, have a belief structure that includes a continuation of consciousness after death as a key feature. in 2008, neurosurgeon Eben Alexander had a “near death experience” while connected to an electroencephalogram which indicated brain death (lack of neural activity). Alexander’s highly detailed experience while clinically brain-dead is the subject of his book.

8. All the atoms in your body came from somewhere else.
Susan Goetinck wrote, “…since the earth was formed everything that has ever existed here has been made from the same allotment of atoms. Only their arrangement has changed.” It’s been established that every element on the Periodic Table other than hydrogen is, in effect, “stardust,” and 93 percent of the mass in our human bodies is “stardust” as well. The molecular structure of our bodies is more like a pattern, held together by energy, than it is a solid, tangible thing.

9. Everyone has cancer. Everyone. In fact, most people develop “cancer” multiple times a day. Luckily our immune systems are advanced enough to kill these cancerous cells early.
Cancer biologist Paul Knoepfler agrees, stating, “…why  don’t  we  get  clinically apparent cancer  even  more  often? Scientists  do  not  really  know.  One  possibility  is  that  our  immune  systems  are  far  better  at  finding  and  destroying  cancer  than  we  ever  imagined.  Indeed,  from  this  perspective  cancer  may  frequently  be  an  immune  disorder  more  than  anything. ” One Reddit user commented, “I heard a cancer researcher on the radio say that the mystery of cancer isn’t why some people die from it, it’s why some people don’t.”

10. Humans shed 40 pounds of skin in their lifetimes.
Actually, it’s far more than 40 pounds. Humans are constantly shedding skin cells, with the average human shedding just under 9 pounds of dead skin per year. A large part of household dust is dead skin and the wee creatures that eat it.

And there you have it: the Top 10 DISTURBING HUMAN BODY FACTS: TRUE OR FALSE?

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