15 Bizarre, Fascinating, and Straight-Up Gross Facts About the Human Body

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Your body may be a temple, but it’s a very, very weird temple.

It’s also pretty gross. Here are some of the most fascinating facts about the human body (some of which might seriously skeeve you out).

Specifically, the inside of your stomach. This fact is equal parts strange and adorable. Fair warning: The rest of these aren’t so adorable.

You probably do, anyway. These tiny parasites (called Demodex) embed their heads into your hair follicles. They eat skin cells and oils your body produces.

As much as that might skeeve you out (and it should), the mites are actually pretty harmless. Unless you somehow get a lot of them in your skin. That can cause problems.

It’s called the Mammalian Diving Reflex, and it’s actually super cool. Basically, when you splash cold water on your face, your heart rate slows considerably. That means you use up less oxygen and can remain underwater for longer. Pretty cool, right?

…There’s a chance it could be cerebral fluid. (But don’t panic. Most of the time it’s just snot.) There have been a few cases of people who thought they had a runny nose but were actually losing cerebral fluid through their nose. This is due to a condition known as CSF Rhinorrhea (and no, it has nothing to do with rhinoceroses or diarrhea). OK, let’s move from the nose to your fingers. How many muscles do you think are in your fingers? You’re most likely incorrect…

Weird, right? You can obviously move them, but there aren’t muscles within the fingers themselves. Instead, the muscles that allow you to move your fingers are located in your palm and forearm.

Even though they don’t have muscles, the fingers are incredibly powerful. Research has found that your fingers can detect ridges as small as 13 nanometers in height on an otherwise smooth surface. To put that in perspective, if your finger was the size of the Earth, you’d be able to feel the difference between the bumps formed by houses and the bumps formed by cars on the planet’s surface.

There are two bones in your forearm (the ulna and the radius) that run parallel to one another. But rotating your arm causes the bones to cross one another. You might not think this is crazy, but go ahead and twist your arm a couple times and this will probably freak you out a bit.

Yes, this is really true. Probably not something to try at work, though.

The new kidney is placed in the lower front part of the abdomen, in the pelvis. You already knew that each person has unique fingerprints, but that’s not the only unique print on the human body!  

This could open up so many possibilities for Touch ID on your phone! On second thought, that’s probably a terrible idea.

10. You shed a lot of skin cells.

How many is a lot, you ask? Well, every hour, you slough off between 30,000 and 40,000 cells. That adds up to more than eight pounds of dead skin cells every year. But don’t worry. All the dust mites living in your house eat them.

Scientists have found that human bodies emit visible light! But don’t start planning a rave just yet. Unfortunately, the light is 1,000 times less intense than what our naked eye can perceive. Still, pretty cool, right?

(Probably more if you’re constantly thinking about bacon or sour candies.) You could fill an entire bathtub with the amount of saliva you produce each year.

But you probably wouldn’t want to. What are you going to do with a bathtub full of saliva? For this next fact, we’ll have to take a trip to the sunny outdoors. You’ll probably want to have some sunscreen handy…

Contrary to popular belief, a sunburn isn’t the direct result of your cells being damaged by the sun. Instead, your skin cells’ DNA was damaged by the sun.

Your body tells the cells to kill themselves in order to prevent skin cancer from developing, which is why your skin then starts to peel. Pretty metal, right?

Of course, that same fetus sometimes tends to make life pretty unpleasant for the expectant mother…and just wait until they’re actually born! Still, this is a lovely fact, no?

Teratomas can be found anywhere in the body, although they are most often found in the ovaries, testicles, or tailbone. What’s extra creepy about teratomas is what can sometimes be found inside them.

Some teratomas contain hair, skin, or teeth. But some are a bit more complicated and can actually contain bones, eyeballs, or a rudimentary beating heart. Yiiiiikes.