Have you ever wondered how does this fragile machinery called “human body” work? Have you ever thought that it can hide fascinating elements that can only work together, as an ensemble? Learn some amazing facts on the human body, discover weird diseases, psychological disorders and strange phobias that might endanger our lives.
Weird Facts about Sleepwalking
We all know that sleep plays a major role in our lives, affecting both our mental and physical health. Sleep helps us conserve and recover energy every day. Still, what happens while asleep? Our body relaxes, some of us have sweet or bizarre dreams, while others get up and start wandering around. These people, known as sleepwalkers, experience somnabulism, also called sleepwalking.
Somnabulism is a disorder that makes people walk while sleeping. And sometimes this not means just walking. There are numerous, captivating stories of sleepwalkers who started eating, cleaning or even woke up in a different or unusual place. According to the studies made, 1 to 15% of the population is predisposed to sleepwalking. But, what is in fact sleepwalking and what does it imply?
Sleepwalking is a form of parasomnia or sleep disorder that occurs during the deep stages of sleep. There are five phases of sleep, meaning stages 1, 2, 3, 4, and REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, but we spend almost 50% of our total sleep time in stage 2 sleep, 20% in REM , and the rest in the other stages. The first stage is the lightest, while during the second one, our eye movements stop and our brain waves are slower.
It is said that people who sleepwalk do so during the next two stages, 3 and 4 (non-REM sleep), which are called deep sleep, when brain waves begin to appear. During the latest stage there is no eye movement or muscle activity. The average of a sleepwalking episode is between 5 to 15 minutes, yet it may last as long as half an hour or even more, but also just a few seconds. If they are not disturbed, sleepwalkers will go back to sleep.
The explanation behind sleepwalking says that the 'sleep center' in the brain, controlling the sleeping and the waking of the body, blocks of a part of the brain and certain nerves while sleeping. If generally, the sleep center and the body are connected, there are times when they can separate. And while the brain goes to sleep, the body remains awake.
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24 Mar, 2011
Curious Facts about Human Senses
It is said that the real world and the one we perceive are two different worlds, while all the things we see, hear and feel are just experiences in our mind. We all know the five traditional senses, which are sight, smell, taste, touch, and hearing. Every single one of these five senses has organs with cells that are linked to the nervous system. Moreover, these cells have receptors for certain stimuli. Take a look to these curious fact about human senses.
When philosopher Berkeley said that there is nothing else outside our perceptions, a question was posed in “The Chautauquan” magazine: “If a tree were to fall on an island where there were no human beings would there be any sound?” Well, the answer was “No”, since “sound is the sensation excited in the ear when the air or other medium is set in motion.” However, “Scientific Magazine”, asked the question one year later, but changing it a bit: “If a tree were to fall on an uninhabited island, would there be any sound?” Then, they came with a more technical answer saying that “sound is vibration, transmitted to our senses through the mechanism of the ear, and recognized as sound only at our nerve centers. The falling of the tree or any other disturbance will produce vibration of the air. If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound.” Therefore, one can say that one cannot speak about sound in the physical reality, but more of an experience in the mind of the one who perceives it.
- On the other hand, our image on reality is less than the physical outer world, in matters that there are numerous aspects of the outer world that we never get to experiment. Our eyes, for example, are sensitive only to light in the interval of 430,000-750,000 gigahertz. At lower frequencies, light is infrared radiation, frequencies which are sensed as heat, but cannot be seen, while even lower than this there are the microwaves and radio waves. At higher frequencies we find ultraviolet rays and beyond them X and gamma rays, that cannot be seen either, but they can be sensed as tingling of the skin or eyes. The human eye cannot detect none of these frequencies and our visual image on reality is just a tiny fraction of what really is out there.
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01 Feb, 2011
5 Weird Medical Curiosities
Medicine is a very fascinating and complicated domain that never ceases to surprise us. From the first use of chloroform to phonagnosia, take a look to these 5 weird medical curiosities.
- Phonagnosia represents a rare condition characterized by the inability of recognizing people by their voice. Persons suffering from this disease can have face-to-face conversations, but they have major difficulties when it comes to identifying people over the phone. Most documented cases of
phonagnosia have been observed to individuals having brain lesions caused by strokes or brain damage. In January 2009, “Neuropsychologia” magazine published the case study of a 60-year-old woman who was born with this condition.
KH suffered from phonagnosia from and early age, but only after reading the article she understood her problem. Dr Brad Duchaine, co-author of the paper, says: “Occasionally, people have experienced problems recognising voices following a stroke or brain damage, but this is the first documented case of someone growing up with this condition. We suspect that there are other people out there with similar problems, and we'd like to get in touch with them. If you think you might be phonagnosic, please contact us.”
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10 Jan, 2011
15 Amazing Facts about the Human Body
Did you know that the size of the human heart has the same size as that of his own fist? Or, did you know that women blink twice as often than men do? We are indeed amazing, complex creations that hide so many interesting mysteries. Take a look to these next 15 amazing facts about the human body.
- We are indeed very strong beings. Imagine that human bones are as resistant and strong as granite is. In fact, a bone having the size of a matchbox can support the pressure of a 9-tone weight. This means four times more than concrete can support.
- The height of a person varies. For example, while sleeping, a man can grow on average by 8 mm (0.3 in). Well, in the morning you get back to your former height. The explanation behind this is that gravitational force acts upon the cartilage which is squeezed when you stand or sit. Moreover, the width of your armspan stretched out is the length of your whole body.
- A drop of blood needs only 30 seconds in order to make a complete circuit of the human body. Pretty fast, no?
- The human nose can perceive up to 50,000 different odors. There are scent signals that travel from each nostril towards different parts of the brain making a person able to establish the direction a specific odor is coming from.
- A person can resist up to 40 days without eating, six days without water and six minutes without air. Moreover, he cannot resist without sleeping for more than 11 days.
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05 Jan, 2011
Interesting Facts about Sleep
Just like breathing, sleep is a semi-automatic mechanism, as you can deprive yourself for a while, but your organism cannot survive and suddenly intervenes against your own conscious will. There are so many interesting facts about sleep, a fascinating domain for you to discover.
Sleep is a natural state characterized by reduced or lacking consciousness, relatively suspended sensory and non-motor activity - inactivity of nearly all voluntary muscles, and it is divided into two types, the REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM or non-REM (non-rapid eye movement).
The hours we sleep depend on each organism and age. For example, if someone feels totally fresh after an eight-hour sleep, another person will have the same feeling only after 12 or only four hours. Usually, babies sleep about 16 hours daily. At puberty, when our body suffers different hormonal changes, you feel like sleeping more. Later on, sleep varies according to the age. People over 65 need the least of all (about six hours). For the average adult aged 25-55, eight hours is considered optimal.
It is practically impossible to live without sleeping. Normally, even after only one night without sleeping, a person starts feeling the effects. The record for the longest period without sleep is 18 days, 21 hours, 40 minutes during a rocking chair marathon. The record holder reported hallucinations, paranoia, blurred vision, slurred speech and memory and concentration lapses.
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11 Nov, 2010
Human Body Curiosities
How well do you know your body? Did you know that the strongest muscle in the human body is the tongue? Or, that we have more than 1,200 km of blood vessels? Check out these interesting human body curiosities.
- The gastric acid that our stomach eliminates in order to decompose food is so strong that it can dissolve a razor blade.
- When you hit in a certain area of you elbow, you feel a violent pain. This is due to the fact that through that specific area the cubital nerve passes, placed along the humerus. This is considered as being a short-term paralysis.
- When looking to a person you love, your pupils dilate involuntarily. The same thing happens when seeing someone you hate.
- When a person dies, hearing is the last sense perceived, while eyesight is the first that disappears.
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23 Sep, 2010
- The biggest muscle is latissimus dorsi. This is a flat muscle on the back that is “activated” when you move your arm.
- If all the 600 muscles of the human body would contract in the same time and in the same direction, man could lift a weight of 25 tones.
- The human body contains enough potassium to provoke the explosion of a toy cannon, enough sugar to fill a jar, enough fat to make 7 soap bars, enough iron to make a nail, and enough sulfur to disinfect a dog.
- After a rich meal our hearing diminishes and it is more difficult to hear the sounds around us. The same thing happens with our attention.
- If you would eat upside-down, the food would go up, because the muscles of the esophagus will continue to push the food towards the stomach.
Unexplainable Human Abilities
There are so many things scientists managed to explain. However, there are certain mysteries regarding human nature that seem to defy all science boundaries. Real unexplainable human abilities, these mysteries can be considered as being too much for scientists? Or, there is nothing to be explained?
Sometimes even the most human actions, such as laughing, crying, or dreaming can prove to be a real challenge for researchers. Let's take a look to some unexplainable human abilities.
It is well-known the fact that sleeping is crucial both for people and animals. No one can resist without sleeping for a longer period of time. A lack of sleep may be a direct cause of ill health, behavior changes, hallucinations, ultimately leading to an earlier death. However, the subtle reasons for us having to sleep a quarter of our life are still unknown.
Laughing and crying
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16 Sep, 2010
We know why we laugh or cry. When someone is making a good joke it is impossible not to have a good laugh, or when passing through harder times and we are sad, we cry. It is known the fact that strong emotional states generate the secretion of endorphins creating euphoria and the need to laugh. But, how do we actually cry and laugh?
Had you ever feel like you have already been in a certain place or that you have already met someone? Déjà vu is a French phrase meaning "already seen," referring to the mysterious feeling of having experienced a specific circumstance before. Parapsychologists claim that déjà vu is based on experiences from another life, while psychologists believe that it is the result of a person's imagination, wishes, and fantasies. Despite all the explanations, the cause and nature of this phenomenon are still unexplainable.
Mind synchronization is another mystery that scientists cannot explain. This type of mental connection or neuronal coupling, as scientists named it, has proved to be even more profound than intuition or coincidence, and more mysterious.
Interesting Facts about the Human Brain
The brain is one of the most important organs of our body, which has so many interesting, yet unknown things. At birth, the human brain weighs about 350-400g, while as adults the brain has 1300-1400g. However, at age 18 the brain stops growing. Take a look to some interesting facts about the human brain.
Did you know that each time we blink, the brain is the one that keeps everything illuminated so that everything surrounding us doesn't go dark? Or, that laughing requires activity in five different areas of the brain and that every day you can experience an average of 70.000 thoughts? Here are some of the most interesting facts about the human brain.
Brain needs oxygen
You should know that 20% of the oxygen and calories in our body are consumed by the brain, despite the fact that human brain only makes up, on average, 2% of the total body mass. Human brain needs high levels of oxygen via bloodstream in order to function normally and ensure the effective functioning of the body. The brain can stay alive for 4 to 6 minutes without oxygen, and after that cells begin to die.
Human brain doesn't feel pain
Even though our brain is the one to process all pain signals from other parts of the organism, the brain itself cannot feel pain as there are no pain receptors in the brain. Ironically, the brain is the one responsible for making us feel the pain of the rest of our body, but it cannot generate the pain. However, the skin and bones around the brain are able to feel pain, the result being the headaches we sometimes feel.
Brain changes its shape during puberty
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09 Sep, 2010
During puberty, we change our physical aspect, but also our way of thinking as the structure of the brain totally changes. Until these changes aren't complete, we are not able to assume the risks of our actions. After the age 30, the brain starts shrinking a quarter of a percent (0.25%) in mass each year.
Information inside the brain travels at different speeds
Neurons inside the brain are differently located, therefore the information travels through them at different speeds. This is why sometimes you can solve something very quickly by instantaneously storing, and in other cases you need some time to process everything. The information can travel at 0.5 meters/sec or at 120 meters/sec, which is as going 268 miles/hour.