You know what’s cool? Your body. Wait. That sounded all wrong. We don’t mean to comment on your body in particular, which is none of our business. We just mean to say that bodies are amazing, all human bodies. Well, the living ones. Living human bodies are some of the most mind-blowing things, but they aren’t things, they are people. Let’s try this again. People are amazing, and one amazing thing about people is the corporeal form—their living, breathing, moving, excreting, functioning, malfunctioning, growing, shrinking, aging bodies. These things do it all. They carry around our minds. They kiss. They fist fight in bad situations. Some of them revolt and hold us trapped in flesh prison until the final moment. Just weird stuff like that. We’re not alone in our awe of the human body. A bunch of folks all over the internet use the hands and fingers of their bodies to type out the weird things about bodies that they have learned. We’ve compiled the comments of these people here, so that you can enjoy learning what others once enjoyed learning. It’s all a body could ask for.
1. Human beings dominate other species primarily because we can run longer.
“We are the best distance runners in the animal kingdom,” one Reddit user wrote. “There’s this thing called persistence hunting where people run after deer or other animals for miles until it gets too tired to keep going.” That’s true. Persistence hunting is a thing. Sorry, other animals.
2. Brains do a whole lot for their size.
The average human brain weighs [three pounds],” wrote u/loveatthelisp. “Your personality traits, memories, emotional responses, nerve impulses, basic homeostatic mechanisms, and everything that tells your body how to work and react to stimuli is contained in three pounds. It’s absolutely amazing that such a small organ can control everything that you are.”
3. If you hate cilantro, blame your genes.
“There is a significant portion of the population for whom, due to a genetic anomaly, cilantro tastes like soap,” reports another Reddit user. This explains why some couples are always arguing over their tacos.
4. You “see” with your brain way more than you do with your eyes.
“All of that color you see? You’re not actually seeing the vast majority of it with your eyes,” wrote u/M0dusPwnens. “The central area of your vision (a surprisingly small area) sees color. Past that, you’re relying almost entirely on brightness and your brain guessing colors (based on what it’s seen before) and filling them in.”
5. This one is actually wrong, but it brings up an interesting point.
“In a human body, there are 10 times more bacterial cells than human cells,” shared u/cant_help_myself. That’s an old myth. It comes from a microbiologist named Thomas Luckey, who made the estimate in 1972. By 2016, a team of researchers from Canada and Israel stepped in to update the record. An adult man in his twenties who is 5 feet 5 inches and 154 pounds would contain about 39 trillion bacterial cells and 30 trillion human cells, according to research from Ron Milo, Ron Sender, and Shai Fuchs. That’s closer to a one-to-one ratio.
6. Someone on the internet just discovered Demodex, the eyelash mite.
“There are little bugs that live in your eyelashes,” wrote yet another Redditor. Unfortunately, this one is actually true. Demodex folliculorum is a microscopic parasite that lives in the eyelashes and eats skin cells and sebum (more commonly known as face grease). Demodex infestation is pretty common, with a prevalence rate among adults that varies between 23 percent and, yes, 100 percent. These critters usually don’t cause any symptoms, although in some cases they irritate the eyelids or stir up a little rosacea dermatitis.
7. Apparently we’re a lot more dextrous than we think. That’s comforting.
“Your hands are capable of incredibly fine motor control, so much so that your limitation is actually your eyesight,” wrote u/AskMrScience. “Put a specimen under a good microscope and people can do very fine micromanipulations without much difficulty.” We admit that we didn’t fact check this one. Come on. This person’s name is AskMrScience, and we will therefore trust this person on an issue of science.
8. Here’s a fun example of crowdsourcing the truth about an important nutrient.
“There is enough iron in your body to make a nail,” wrote u/Mattymc27. Huh, that’s interesting. But is it true? Sort of, wrote u/vanity_manatee, along with a few other things. “…That’s a rather mundane metric,” the Redditor wrote. “I mean, c’mon, have you been to a store hardware section? There are rivet-like nails for concrete, and there are super tiny tacking nails.” U/vanity_manatee went on to observe, correctly, that men carry around 4 grams of iron in their bodies, whereas women have about 3.5 grams. “So that about gets you a [6 inch] wire roofing nail,” u/vanity_manatee wrote.
9. Everyone is half bananas. We could have told you that.
“Human DNA sequences are around 50 [percent] identical to banana sequences,” wrote u/I_Am_A_Jedi. This fact is all over the place. An article in the Mirror makes the same claim; so does a piece in the Telegraph. However, the best source we found, the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), actually suggests that the 50 percent estimate is a little low. “We share approximately 60 percent of our DNA with a banana plant,” according to the NHGRI website.