There's no arguing the fact that the human body is an amazing piece of work. Check out any event in the Olympics and you'll be astounded by the physical prowess of the competitors; look up any Nobel Prize and you'll be awed by the geniuses our species has produced. And yet, at the same time, the actual processes, structures, and functions of our individual body parts can really freak us out when we think about it.
Did you know your skin starts sagging as early as your twenties? Do you know how much your kidneys are worth on the black market? Would you like to know exactly how soft your brain is? If any of these facts make you shiver a little, the full list is sure to creep you out. Vote up the most upsetting facts about your body below.
- 1439 VOTES
Kidneys Are The Most Popular Organ On The Black Market
Kidneys are by far the most popular organ on the Black Market. Therefore, it's not surprising that they're also one of the most expensive things to illegally purchase. At approximately $200,000, most people who need a kidney transplant due to medical issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes won't be able to afford it.
Sadly, few US patients on the kidney waitlist will get a legal opportunity to save their lives. In 2013, only 16,896 kidney transplants were performed in the US while over 100,000 people were on the waiting list for the surgery. Something worth noting is that the cost of these organs is much lower in China and India.
- 2517 VOTES
By Age 60, Your Sense Of Taste Will Be Significantly Diminished
Somewhere between 40 and 50, your taste buds start disappearing or shrinking - meaning that by age 60, it will become hard to tell the difference tastes, such as sweet versus salty. When your sense of smell heads out the door around age 70, your sense of taste gets even worse as a result. Medical professionals don't know why this happens, so we don't know how to mitigate the problem.
Losing your sense of taste has longer-reaching effects than not being able to enjoy chocolate or wine anymore. For many, the loss of taste buds leads to a dwindling appetite, which can in turn lead to malnourishment and mineral deficiencies. It can also lead many elderly people to add more salt or sugar to their foods, increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Sometimes loss of taste and smell can also lead to depression.
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Your Brain Has The Consistency Of Warm Butter
"It's so soft that even just a collision with the inside of your skull can give you brain damage," Dr. Cameron Shaw told Vice. "Or it'll set off catastrophic swelling that can crush your brain inside the skull."
If you're curious what this feels like for yourself, Dr. Daniel Amen has created a recipe to simulate the texture and consistency of the brain, which you can make at home.
- 4303 VOTES
Skin 'Looking Older' Is A Multi-Stage Process That Begins As Early As Your 20s
Turns out that your skin doesn't abruptly starting going downhill all at once. Though researchers once thought that skin aging began at 35, a study showed that cells change differently as you age. You don't notice, however, until all of the effects come together, which makes sense.
These cell differences were divided into five processes. In your 20s, your skin decreases antioxidant production. This means it's crucial to use sunscreen much earlier, and that using antioxidants in your skin products becomes necessary much earlier as well.
In your 30s, your skin cells don't create collagen, repair skin, or even absorb products as quickly as it used to. To help mitigate this, you can use products with B3, which has been shown to raise skin's bioenergy levels.
At 40, your complexion will visibly change. This process is called "senescence," and it looks different for everyone. By this age, it's important to use things like retinol to keep skin looking healthy.
- 5227 VOTES
Experts Aren't Sure Why Humans Have A Uvula, But They Do Know When It Needs To Be Removed
There are different theories about the purpose of the uvula, but most scientists agree that it helps us with speech. The uvula can produce massive amounts of saliva very rapidly, and this lubrication is necessary in order to articulate all the complex sounds of human speech - particularly for speakers of French, German, Hebrew, and Farsi
Uvulas that are too big may impair breathing, posing a major risk to their owners. Uvulas that are too long can cause snoring or sleep apnea. In either case, these medical conditions may make people candidates for uvulectomy, or uvula removal.
- 6251 VOTES
Your Heart Has Its Own 'Little Brain'
The heart has its own nervous system, which is nicknamed the "little brain" or "heart brain," that contains roughly 40,000 neurons. According to a 2019 article published in Current Pain and Headache Reports,
Signals from the "heart brain" redirect to the medulla, hypothalamus, thalamus, and amygdala and the cerebral cortex. Thus, the heart sends more signals to the brain than vice versa.
This intracardiac nervous system was first discovered in 1991 and is still being researched today. It is believed to help monitor heart health and may play a role in how the mind processes pain.