1. A Blink is a Micronap
You probably thought that a blink was just something you did to keep your eyes moist or keep dust out of them. That is a very valuable service, of course, but we actually blink way more than needed for that alone—about 15 to 20 times per minute. In fact, closing our eyes briefly has been found, according to a study by Washington University, to help sharpen attention and serves as a miniature recharge.
2. Big Eyes Cause Nearsightedness
Big eyes may be considered beautiful by some, but they can cause nearsightedness. Also known as myopia, this condition that causes distant objects to look blurry is caused by light not properly reaching the retina.
If your eyeball grows too long, light is focused too soon before it hits the retina—so when it does hit the retina the image is blurry.
3. Hair Can “Taste”
crazy bad facts things you didn’t know about your body
Nasal passages and lungs are lined with fine hairs, or cilia, that detect and sweep out impurities. How do they detect it? By sensing bitter tastes of the things passing through them (such as, say, nicotine). When these hairs taste something bitter, they increase their rate of movement, attempting to sweep out the bad stuff, according to a study published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
4. It’s Impossible to Tickle Yourself
Your cerebellum—the area in the back of your brain that monitors movement—predicts the sensation you will feel when you attempt to tickle yourself, countering the response that the tickle would otherwise elicit in other parts of your brain.
“Two brain regions are involved in processing how tickling feels. The somatosensory cortex processes touch and the anterior cingulate cortex processes pleasant information,” Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a research fellow at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London, explained to Scientific American. “We found that both these regions are less active during self-tickling than they are during tickling performed by someone else, which helps to explains why it doesn’t feel tickly and pleasant when you tickle yourself.”
5. Your Hair Helps the Environment
Dirty hair can be good for the atmosphere: according to environmental engineers at the Missouri University of Science and Technology, hair absorbs the air pollutant ozone. Scalp oils were found to be a major contributor to this, so if you want to do your part to help your local air quality, skip the shampoo! More than anything, this fact truly proves to be one of the more interesting things you didn’t know about your body.
6. Humans “Glow,” You Just Can’t See It
When we talk about someone having a “glow” about them, that’s often literally true. Research has found that the human body does in fact emit visible light, but since it’s about 1,000 times less intense than the levels our eyes are able to spot, it’s not “visible” in practice.
A team of Japanese scientists dug into this further and found that this body glow rises and falls throughout the day, with the least glow coming off of the humans they tested at about 10:00 a.m., and the highest at about 4:00 p.m. (perhaps because they were about to wrap up work for the day).
7. Stomach Acid Dissolves Razor Blades
You probably shouldn’t be swallowing these things, but you might be surprised to learn that your stomach could do some serious damage on razor blades if you did. Researchers out of Meridia Huron Hospital tested the effects of gastric juice on metal objects and found that over 24 hours, the stomach acid reduced razor blades to 63 percent of their original weight (pennies and batteries, however, were barely affected).
8. Sneezes Can Travel Up to 20 Feet
You may think you’re safe when the guy all the way across the subway car sneezes, but you may be in the line of fire without even realizing it. A video study conducted by researchers at MIT found that sneezes travel much farther than previously believed—as far as 20 feet.
9. Earwax Is Good for You
To be clear: you don’t want to eat earwax! But that annoying stuff you’re using Q-tips to remove serves the important purpose of lubricating, cleaning, and protecting your ears from infection. It’s as much as 50 percent fat, coating the ear and catching dust and debris—keeping your ears healthy, even if it looks gross.
10. You Lose Almost One-Third of Your Bones as You Age
According to Mammal Anatomy: An Illustrated Guide, you’re born with about 300 bones, but as you grow, some of these fuse together as cartilage ossifies, eventually leaving you with 206 bones by the time you stop growing (once you’ve reach young adulthood). As it turns out, there are quite a few things you didn’t know about your body.