The human body is an incredibly well-oiled, but sometimes unsavory machine. We lift the veil on some quirks of the body that will surprise ordinary mortals.
We produce 55 kg of saddles per year
Feces, composed of water (75%!), dead bacteria and food residues not absorbed by the digestive system, each adult produces between 150 and 200 grams per day on average, i.e. at least 55 kilos per day. year. On the scale of the world’s population, this corresponds to 11 tonnes of faecal matter evacuated every second. A statistic that can be followed live here.
It is possible to vomit feces
We stay on the subject of stools with a fortunately rare anecdote: it is possible to vomit your excrement. A digestive disorder called fecaloid vomiting (or “pitch mash”) and caused by intestinal secretions rising in the stomach, itself due to an obstruction in the intestines or serious pathologies such as cancer.
We produce 1.5 liters of saliva per day
Between 2 and 4 pints of saliva: that’s what an adult produces every day on average, the equivalent of around 45,000 liters over a lifetime – enough to fill a swimming pool. And that’s a good thing, because saliva is necessary for swallowing and digestion, protects the teeth against the acidity of the mouth, cleans the palate and participates in the taste sensation. Bonus info: our saliva contains opiorphin, a substance 3 times more effective than morphine against pain and without side effects.
We have 2 kg of bacteria in us
The intestinal microbiota (formerly called intestinal flora) includes at least 100,000 billion bacteria, for a total of two kilos, perfectly useful to our body. This is roughly speaking twice less than the number of stars in our galaxy. There are more bacteria in our mouths alone than there are humans on Earth. By way of comparison, our body has ten times fewer cells (10,000 billion) than bacteria.
Our eyelids and eyelashes are home to little beasts
Mites called Demodex live nestled in our eyelashes and eyelids: they eat the dead cells of our skin there, reproduce there and die there. Most of the time, they help cleanse the skin, especially of sebum. However, they can proliferate without common measure if the eyelashes are not well cleaned, and give rise to an infestation.
Women can secrete breast milk through the armpits
During a pregnancy, it is natural to have breasts full of breast milk, but it is not impossible to also secrete it… through the armpits. This particularly happened to Linda Jones, a 39-year-old mother who, after giving birth to triplets, saw her breast tissue swell and spread to the armpits. A phenomenon that she relayed on social networks, before the media got involved. Rarer still, a young mother even reported having secreted breast milk from the vulva.
We can sweat up to 10 liters a day
Normally, the body produces between 0.5 and 1 liter of sweat daily, composed of 99% water, but also minerals, such as sodium (which gives it a salty taste), and organic compounds. A good sweat can go up to 10 liters in case of strong heat, intense physical effort, fever or great stress. Note that, contrary to popular belief, sweat has no smell: it is its decomposition, by bacteria living on the surface of the skin, which is at the origin of its acrid smell.
We can sneeze up to 50 km/h and 9 meters away
According to a recent study, when humans sneeze, the air is expelled through their nose at an average speed of 16 km/h, and up to 50 km/h in some, slightly higher than the air expelled in case cough. Depending on the circumstances, a sneeze can project fluids up to nine meters away. But that’s only if you don’t put your hand over your mouth.