More interesting health facts

Here are some of the most entertaining trivia about the human body:

  • The average human body contains enough iron to make a three-inch nail; carbon to make 900 pencils; potassium to fire a toy cannon; fat to make seven bars of soap; phosphorous to make 2,200 match heads; and 37 liters of water.
  • The largest human organ is the skin, with a surface area of more than 2 square meters.
  • There are almost 10 kilometers of blood vessels in the human body, and 72 kms of nerves in the skin

Do you dream often?

  • Scientists say that the higher your I.Q., the more you dream. (Okay, everybody, let’s start sharing our dreams with a friend.)
  • The average person takes 10 minutes to fall asleep.
  • Women blink twice as much as men.
  • The average time between blinks is 2.8 seconds.
  • The average duration of a single blink is 0.1 to 0.4 seconds.
  • When you are looking at someone you love, your pupils dilate; they do the same when you are looking at someone you hate.

Men and women

  • Most men have erections every hour to an hour and a half during sleep.
  • According to the Kinsey Institute, the biggest erect male organ on record measures 33 centimeters (13 inches). The smallest tops off at less than 5 cms (2 inches).
  • The largest cell in the human body is the female ovum, or egg cell. It is about 0.44 millimeters inch in diameter. The smallest cell is the male sperm. It takes about 175,000 sperm cells to weigh as much as a single egg cell.
  • During the 2,475,576,000 seconds of the average length life, the average person speaks 123,205,750 words, has sex 4,239 times and sheds 57 liters of tears.
  • Women burn fat more slowly than men, by a rate of about 50 calories a day. That is probably why more women are obese based on studies.
  • Women’s hearts beat faster than men’s.
  • The average woman is five inches shorter than the average man.
  • On average, women say 7,000 words per day. Men manage just over 2,000. (So better not to argue with your spouse.)

The stomach

  • A healthy individual releases 99 grams of gas in a single flatulent emission.
  • An average person farts five to 15 times in a day. Most is due to swallowed air. The rest is from fermentation of undigested food.
  • It takes the food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
  • If removed from the body, the small intestine would stretch to a length of more than six meters long.
  • Your stomach cells secrete hydrochloric acid, a corrosive compound used to treat metals in the industrial world. The acid in your stomach is strong enough to dissolve razor blades, but mucous lining the stomach wall keeps this poisonous liquid safely in the digestive system.
  • The most extreme case of coin-swallowing was recorded in England in 1958, when it was reported that 424 coins and 27 pieces of wire totaling 5 pounds had been extracted from the stomach of a 54-year-old man.
  • The record for the most pies ever consumed in a single sitting was 631 meat pies. This was eaten by an American, Frank Giblet, on a holiday in Germany. After this, he was admitted to a local hospital where he had a minor cardiac arrest.
  • Aspirin went on sale as the first pharmaceutical drug in 1899, after Felix Hoffman, a German chemist at the drug company Bayer, successfully modified salicylic acid, a compound found in willow bark to produce Aspirin.
  • A full bladder is roughly the size of a softball.

Fingerprints, skin and hair

  • Fingerprints serve a useful function – they provide traction for the fingers to grasp things.
  • A fetus acquires fingerprints at the age of three months.
  • A fingernail or toenail takes about six months to grow from base to tip. Fingernails grow faster than toenails.
  • Humans shed and re-grow outer skin cells about every 27 days – almost 1,000 new skins in a lifetime.
  • An average human scalp has 100,000 hairs.
  • A human being loses an average of 40 to 100 strands of hair a day.
  • Human hair is estimated to grow at 0.00000001 miles per hour.
  • Beards are the fastest growing hairs on the human body. If the average man never trimmed his beard, it would grow to nearly 30 feet long in his lifetime.

General trivia

  • The mosquito is the most dangerous animal in the world. Around 3,000 people die each day from malaria. Worldwide, 515 million people are infected.
  • The anti-malarial drug quinine is taken from the bark of the Andean cinchona tree.
  • The first known heart medicine was discovered in an English garden. In 1799, physician John Ferriar noted the effect of dried leaves of the common foxglove plant, digitalis purpurea, on heart action. Still used by doctors, digitalis increases the force of heart contractions.
  • The average cup of coffee contains more than 1,000 different chemical components, none of which is tasted in isolation but only as part of the overall flavor.
  • The chemical n-acetyl-cysteine found in raw eggs is proven to help hangovers.
  • Jaw muscles are the strongest muscles in the body. They can provide about 200 pounds of force to bring the back teeth together for chewing.
  • It takes 17 muscles to smile, and 43 to frown. That is why people who frown often get more wrinkles.
  • Laughing heartily lowers levels of stress hormones (called cortisol) and strengthens the immune system. Good hormones, called endorphins, are released when we laugh.
  • Six-year-olds laugh an average of 300 times a day. Adults only laugh 15 to 100 times a day. So, to our readers, try smiling and laughing more. It will make you healthier. — First published in Tulay Fortnightly, Chinese-Filipino Digest 28, no. 23 (May 10-23, 2016): 11. (Images from