SCIENCE

Seven curiosities about the human body

The human body is an incredible organism, full of wonderful complexities and functions.

Every day, it performs an infinite number of activities without us even realising it.

But behind these seemingly simple actions lie curious secrets and extraordinary phenomena. In this photo gallery, we explore seven fascinating curiosities about the human body that will leave you amazed.

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The extraordinary power of the brain
The human brain is an incredibly powerful structure. Although it represents only 2 per cent of the body's total weight, it consumes about 20 per cent of the body's total energy. It can hold up to 2.5 petabytes of information, which is roughly equivalent to 3 million hours of high-definition video. In addition, the brain is more active at night when we sleep and dreams can be incredibly vivid.
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The strength of the muscles
Human muscles can perform amazing feats of strength and endurance. The strongest muscle in the body is the maxilla-temporalis muscle, which is responsible for chewing. It can exert a closing force of over 200 kilograms on the teeth. And not only are the muscles strong, they are also very resilient. The skeletal muscles can continue to contract even after hours of intense exertion.
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A labyrinth of blood vessels
If one were to end-to-end all the blood vessels in the human body, one would obtain a total length of about 100,000 kilometres. This means that we could encircle the Earth more than twice. The heart, an organ the size of a fist, is constantly pumping blood through this intricate network of arteries, veins and capillaries to nourish every cell in our bodies.
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The uniqueness of fingerprints
No two people in the world have the same fingerprints. Fingerprint formation begins during foetal development and is influenced by genetic and environmental factors. This uniqueness has been a valuable resource for forensic science, as fingerprints are used to identify individuals with almost absolute precision.
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The power of gut bacteria
Our gut is inhabited by a vast ecosystem of bacteria known as the gut microbiota. These bacteria play an essential role in our health, helping with digestion, metabolism and strengthening the immune system. Surprisingly, the number of gut bacteria in our bodies is greater than the number of human cells.
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A heart with a unique rhythm
The human heart beats constantly and regularly, pumping blood throughout the body. However, the heart is affected by emotions: the heartbeat can increase when we are excited or scared and slow down when we are relaxed. An adult heart can pump up to 7000 litres of blood per day, which is enough to fill about 98,000 balloons.
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The potential of neurons
The brain consists of billions of neurons, the nerve cells responsible for communication and information processing. Astonishingly, the total number of neural connections in the human brain is estimated to be greater than the number of stars in the observable universe. This vast network of neural connections is responsible for our cognitive, emotional and motor abilities.
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25/06/2024
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