Well, here we are. About to run off a list of cool but ultimately pointless facts about the human body. Buy while a lot of these facts are actually pointless, and not really required for your daily life, they are nonetheless very cool. If nothing else, these 21 pointless facts about the human body will give you at least something to start a conversation with, and impress your friends.
1 Yawning Is Contagious – In Fact, You’re About To, Or Just Did Yawn
Beginning our list of 21 cool but pointless facts about the human body is something that you probably already know. Yawning is contagious.
Yawn… Why did I do that? Why did I just trigger a yawn in you? I did it to demonstrate a cool experiment. What experiment? Yawning is contagious. It really is, but there’s a fair chance that you already know this. But why is it contagious?
Don’t you just hate looking at someone yawn and then getting the urge to yawn yourself? It’s extremely annoying if I do say so myself. When the reflex is triggered in me by the actions of another, I’m not even tired. To tell you the truth, I’m generally not tired, or bored. But despite this fact, when I see another person yawn I follow suit, as if it’s the latest trend. But the freaky thing is, if I see an animal yawn, I will too. So why?
Do you know what a yawn is? A yawn is a reflex of simultaneous inhalation of air and stretching of the eardrums which is followed by an exhalation of your breath. It is usually associated with tiredness, boredom, exhaustion, stress or being overworked. But despite all these reasons for yawning, there is one other. Yawning is contagious. It’s so contagious that about 50 percent of people reading this right now have already yawned, or are about to yawn.
Yawning is so contagious that a yawn can be triggered by seeing others yawn, hearing a yawn, or even as in this case, reading about it. It’s a typical example of positive feedback. But it’s not only humans that suffer from infectious yawning. It has been observed in chimpanzees and dogs. Not only that, but it can spread across species. If we notice a dog yawn, we have about a 50 percent chance of yawning ourselves. Have you yawned yet?
Why is yawning contagious?
There have been about 20 physiological reasons put forward for infectious yawning, but there has been little agreement as to why it occurs. Some studies have suggested that infectious yawning helps keep groups alert by increasing oxygen in the brain which helps keep the group ready for action.
2 Coffee Before A Workout Will Improve Weight Loss
Drinking coffee before a workout will improve your chances of effective weight loss. At first this doesn’t sound too convincing, but after devouring the following information many of you who attend gyms around the world in an attempt to trim down will certainly start your next session with a cup of coffee. How does drinking coffee before a workout improve weight loss?
With so many different fab diets, weight loss remedies and power drinks around today many people feel bombarded with choice, not knowing for sure which is the best option to choose. As is often the case, most of these formulated treatments come with guarantees and endorsements, and cost a bundle. But a common morning beverage could solve all your problems.
There are four main ways that coffee before a workout will assist with weight loss. Each of these has its own benefit, but when combined make for a powerful fat fighting solution.
The first benefit is that coffee accelerates fat loss, which is pretty good. It does this by getting your body to burn the energy in fat instead of glycogen. With the fat being consumed as an energy source it means that you have already started the journey. But it also has another positive side effect in burning fat. Coffee acts as an appetite suppressant, which means that you will consume less throughout the day. But we’re not done with the fat burning potential of coffee just yet. If you drink your coffee black it improves metabolism, which increases the amount of calories burned during your workout, and even the day.
The second main benefit of consuming coffee before a workout is it improves performance. Obviously an improved performance at the gym or during a run will give better results. Two different studies have also backed up this finding. Both independent studies found that coffee increased performance of those who had a hit of coffee beforehand.
The third way that it helps is by making you focus. An improved focus will give you a better drive to succeed and complete the task at hand.
The final main benefit of coffee before a workout to lose weight is reduced muscle pain. Anyone who has ever worked out a little knows that muscle and joint pain are one of the worst side effects of a workout. It’s also one of the main reasons that people decide to quit the beneficial exercise. No one likes pain. But coffee helps. University of Illinois researchers found that people who drank coffee before a workout suffered from less pain than those who hadn’t had a caffeinated drink. This benefit also resulted in participants in the study spending more time working out, which had a benefit for weight loss.
So that’s the benefits, what’s the requirements for it to work? Studies have shown that for most people either 2 or 3 cups of coffee about one hour before a workout will provide the desired results. But the benefits wane over time, bacause coffee is a drug and behaves like one.
So if you are serious about shedding the weight remember this little fact. Drinking coffee before a workout will improve weight loss results.
3 There’s A Condition Called Maple Syrup Urine Disease
A word of warning. If your infants urine smells like maple syrup take them to the doctor immediately. It could be a sign of a serious, and potentially fatal disease.
There’s a disease called maple syrup urine disease, or branched-chain ketoaciduria. It causes the urine in infants to smell like maple syrup and the ear wax can also have a sweet smell. It affects about 1 in every 180,000 people and can be fatal if not managed correctly. The disease seems to affect Jewish, Mennonite and Amish children the most.
4 Dimples Are A Genetic Flaw
They might look cute on the right person, but did you know that dimples are a genetic flaw? How is it that something that looks so nice and enticing can be considered a genetic flaw? Well, genes don’t particularly care about looks. What matters the most to them is survival. But due to the fact that dimples look so nice, they have found a way to endure in our genetic makeup. So what is it that makes dimples a genetic flaw?
Dimples are caused by shortened facial muscles. The shortening occurs in the very early embryonic stages of development and is caused by the subcutaneous connective tissue. When a a person with dimples smiles the muscles in the face structure pull up the skin on the face and a depression forms because of the flaw. This depression is the dimple.
But you shouldn’t be concerned. Dimples are not life threatening and you can not catch them. Just as with baldness, dimples are an inherited genetic flaw. It’s also not a combination of genes that causes this beautiful malfunction, it’s only one. That’s right, one single gene getting all messed up causes dimples.
To get dimples at least one parent must have dimples. If neither parent has dimples, they will have no children with dimples. But occasionally there will be the odd case of a spontaneous deformity that will result in the beauty mark. In all cases, the responsible gene is always present before the time of conception. Yes, the gene doesn’t form in the uterus.
For a little bonus coolness about dimples, they don’t always show on both cheeks. While it is rare, some people can actually get a dimple on only one side of their face. This is caused by the same flawed gene, but like an argument with the wife, it’s a one sided affair. It would look a little lopsided, I know. But it shouldn’t detract from their personality or beauty.
5 The Corneal Oxygen Supply Comes From The Air, Not Blood
For living parts of the body to survive they need a supply of oxygen, and that supply is provided through blood. This is true for all body parts except one. The cornea of the eye doesn’t have a blood supply. The corneal oxygen supply comes directly from the air.
So this is really pretty weird and useful all at once. It’s weird because all other body parts, even hair, nails and the lungs get their supply of oxygen from blood. And this is where that lack of blood supply to the cornea comes in handy.
Because the corneal oxygen supply comes from the air we breathe and not our blood, it makes it a perfect tissue for organ transplants. It is so versatile that it doesn’t have to be matched to the organ recipient.
6 A Pregnancy Test Can Tell If A Man Has Testicular Cancer
Did you know that it’s possible for a pregnancy test to detect testicular cancer in men? As odd as this actually sounds, it’s really tru, regarless of what you read elsewhere. But as with most things, there’s always some form of a catch. So first of all how do pregnancy tests work?
When a woman falls pregnant one of the simplest ways for her to tell if she is pregnant is to urinate on a pregnancy test strip. The strip checks for the presence of human chorionic gonadotrophin or hCG. HCG is the hormone that is produced by the embryo when a woman gets pregnant and is present very early on in the pregnancy. Although the levels during the early stages of pregnancy are very low, the test can still detect even the smallest of presence. As time proceeds, the levels increase. But pregnancy is not the only thing that produces hCG.
Some forms of cancer, including testicular cancer can also produce hCG. HCG can actually be used as a tumor marker as its β subunit is secreted by some cancers. Even more amazing is that when it is combined with alpha-fetoprotein it becomes a great marker for germ cell tumors. If a man tests positive to a pregnancy test it could mean he has cancer.
But it’s not only men who can test positive for cancer using a pregnancy test. Women too can also test positive to cancer while using a test if they are not pregnant. A positive test while not being pregnant should be followed up with more reliable testing.
But there’s no need for alarm. While a pregnancy test can detect cancer, specifically testicular cancer, there are only a few kinds of cancer that it can detect. In fact, there’s no guarantee that it will show a positive test, but if it does its worth asking your doctor for a laboratory test. Also, there are many other factors that can give a false alarm, such as steroid treatment.
7 How Much Time Do You Spend Sleeping
Do you remember the old Seinfeld episode where Kramer tries his hand at polyphasic sleep (unscheduled sleeping several times a day) to try and get more awake time? He probably had what might seem like a good idea. By spending a lot of time sleeping we are actually missing out on a huge chunk of our lives. And I mean a huge chunk. So have you ever thought about how much time we spend sleeping?
Feeling tired? You really shouldn’t. The average person spends 8 hours a day sleeping, that’s a third of the day. This means by the time you turn 75 you would have spent about 25 years asleep!
In fact, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development estimates that the average person will spend a total of 26 years of their life asleep.
8 You May Be Able to Hear Your Muscles Move
Have you ever sat back and said to yourself “I can hear my muscles move?” No, you’re not crazy, or hearing weird things. You might just be able to.
Did you know that you may be able to hear your muscles move? While for the majority of people it is not possible, for a few, under the correct laboratory circumstances, or an ideal room environment, they may be able to hear their muscles move.
When some muscles move they can emit a sound in a frequency up to 20 hertz. The usual hearing range for humans is from 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz, which is usually too high to hear your muscles move. But some people, in a laboratory or carefully designed room, can hear sounds as low as 12 hertz, making it possible to hear their own muscles move. Isn’t that freaky?
9 That Moment You Forget A Word Has A Name – It’s Lethologica
Do you or someone you know suffer this annoying condition?
For many of us, in fact about 90 percent of the population, we have had that temporary moment where we seem to be feeling the effects of a kind of momentary amnesia or senility. It’s that point where in the middle of a conversation we can not, not for the life of us remember the word or the persons name. It becomes extremely frustrating and some people substitute the forgotten word with others such as thingy, as if the person we are talking to knows the word and will rescue us from our moment of Alzheimer’s. I wonder if you knew that it is a recognised psychological disorder and it has a name? So what’s it called? Lethologica.
Ummm, What was I about to say?
That’s right. The condition of Lethologica, though having always been present and just ignored, was discovered in the early 1900’s. As with all medical conditions, some suffer to a greater degree than others. Though the condition appears to be similar to Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, it actually has the opposite affliction. By trying to improve your memory by arduous mental exercises it can actually make the condition worse.
What causes Lethologica? There are many causes of the condition, and the number of people becoming afflicted with the condition is growing every year. Some of the causes are stress, bad eating habits and injury.
Speaking of brains.
10 The Brain Can Not Feel Pain
Here is a spectacular fact regarding something we all have, but some choose not to use. The brain can not feel pain. Not even a little bit. I know that it sounds confusing, especially when you can suffer from head aches and migraines, but the brain really can’t feel any pain.
The body is covered with sensory receptors that send signals, such as pain and touch, to the spinal cord. That signal is then sent to the brain and interpreted. The brain has no such receptors in it. But it’s not something that you should worry about. In fact, it can be a good thing.
Because the brain can’t feel pain it is the reason surgeons are able to perform surgeries without a general anaesthetic, which also allows them to monitor the patient for signs of any unintended damage to the brain that could affect their vision, fine motor control skills and other functions.