Being human can seem mundane at times. However, there is always something surprising about us.
Here are some amazing facts about humans and humans’ health that will inspire you to pay attention, take care of yourself, and be thankful for what you have (or haven’t) got.
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Yes, you’re more likely to get sick by touching something nasty and then touching your face than by kissing. It sounds like one of those facts that’s not a fact, but this is backed up by a study coming out of McGill University.
The research was as intimate and interesting as you would imagine. To carry out the experiment, the participants kissed partners with colds or stroked each others’ hands.
Despite their expectations, only one person who kissed someone got sick. Researchers concluded that the tiny crevices on our hands are more responsible for giving us colds.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, we are pretty up to date on how unpleasant things are spread via contact with door handles, faucets, cell phones, and other things.
Handwashing is also vital to curb the spread of MRSA and other potential causes of infection.
You think the planet is getting overpopulated? Check out your skin.
According to the American Museum of Natural History, there are more bacteria on your skin than there are people on the planet.
Your belly button has about 67 different species of bacteria, right there. And most of those will be different from the bacteria on other peoples’ belly buttons.
But this is good. Our human microbiome — our individual ecosystems — makes us genuinely unique. They have evolved to work with us. And we need them to stay healthy. Sometimes helpful microorganisms win the competition for resources against things we don’t want like the fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
If you think that what’s going on on the surface is impressive, note that you contain trillions of bacteria.
Fortunately, they’re not making you sick, as is a common perception. Bacteria inside us help to regulate disease and inflammation.
Next time you’re dusting or vacuum cleaning, be aware that a lot of the stuff you’re cleaning up is you.
Dogs shed. Cats shed. And so do humans.
It’s a bit gross to think about, but we need to shed skin. After protecting us from the external environment, cells need replacing.
When you look in the mirror, you won’t see too much resemblance to a banana. However, you’re closely related to it. All humans are.
Considering our DNA, we are most closely related to chimpanzees. Just 4% of our DNA is different than chimpanzees’.
However, humans and bananas share more than 60% of DNA. That’s a pretty high dating match for humans and bananas. Swipe right.
For those feeling freaked out: yes. Exactly.
We’re also very similar to chickens.
This is not an insult. It’s a fact.
If all that talk about bananas is making your mouth water, maybe you could fill three swimming pools. That’s about 25,000 quarts.
Our saliva builds up in the name of health. It prevents oral infections and helps us swallow and digest food.
60,000 miles of blood vessels — arteries, veins, and capillaries — is nearly 100,000 kilometers. That’s like flying around the world twice, which would take around four and a half days.
We need this much to efficiently get oxygenated blood from the heart to our organs and then remove the deoxygenated blood back to the heart.
An average person will survive for about 6 to 10 weeks without eating if they drink water.
The longest anyone went without sleep (on record) was about 11 days.
Hallucinations can start after just three or four nights. Other sleep deprivation symptoms include a severe inability to focus, reduced alertness, high blood pressure, increased risk of mental health issues, kidney injury, headaches, strokes and heart attacks, depression, anxiety, and paranoia.
Sleep is also when people consolidate their memories, so chronic lack of sleep can also lead to losing your grip on reality.
Nuwber explores whether there’s much difference between dog people and cat people. This is more important than ever because it looks like dogs might be better for health than many other pets.
Pets in general offer people health benefits, but dogs have that combination of unconditional love, loyalty, and attention that makes them extra special.
The right animal can help kids with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Therapy dogs are commonly used to reduce patients’ anxiety.
Such animals help people be mindful, which can reduce pain. They encourage compassion and awareness, which can help people be more attentive to their need for self-care, such as checking their blood sugar and remembering to take diabetes meds.
Cats, on the other hand, tend to think you’re sitting in their chair.
This fact is not entirely true. The color you turn is actually more yellow.
The discoloration is called carotenemia (no, really, it is), and you’ll most likely notice it on your palms and soles, but don’t try it.
Eating too many carrots causes an overdose of beta-carotene and vitamin A. It’s estimated that people can consume about 30,000 IU of vitamin A before it becomes toxic. One cup of carrot juice could contain more than 45,000 IU.
Other side effects include allergies, gas, bloating, and flatulence.
To reiterate: don’t do it. Limit your carrot intake to about 3 or 4 per day.
The fact is that we don’t really know why we yawn. Animals do it, too, but we can’t ask them.
Is it about increasing our intake of oxygen? Do we need to regulate our temperatures?
We don’t know.
We do know that it’s contagious, however, which is why you’re yawning now just thinking about it. And that’s pretty mind-blowing.
We hope these health facts have surprised and enlightened you. Stay curious, wash your hands, and look after your pet, because they are looking after you.
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Whether she is researching the latest trends in home decor, life-changing destination getaways, or the best way to maintain your finances, Dewey takes pride in leaving no stone unturned. She is passionate about distilling and delivering high-quality information that you can use to upgrade your life.