Wow! What a Body!

The human body is an amazing mechanical and electro-chemical machine. It is a carefully balanced system which depends on correct amounts of oxygen, carbon, magnesium and many other trace elements and minerals, combined with water. The quantities it needs for each function are exact but it is quite forgiving of shortage, or excess, in some areas.

Shortage of iron is one of the most problematic things in the system. If the body lacks iron, it becomes anemic and cannot carry enough oxygen around the body in the blood. This leads to all kinds of problems because the only way the muscles and organs of the body can get oxygen is through the blood.

Excess salt upsets the potassium-sodium balance of the body. Excess fluid is retained and the elimination system through the kidneys can't work properly. That's why we are told to watch our salt levels.

As long as this amazing mechanism is kept in reasonably good repair and fueled correctly, it serves us well.

An adult human has 206 bones and an infant has 300. Attached to these bones are 369 skeletal muscles. These are the bits that do the mechanics. They all link up together to enable movement using a system of levers and joints with muscles to pull them.

The tongue is the only muscle in the human body that isn't attached at both ends. To be more precise, the tongue is actually a group of muscles, not just one. It's surface is covered in taste buds.

In the human face there are ten different muscle groups. It takes seventeen muscles to smile and forty-three to frown.

Eighty-five percent of the human brain is made up of water. It contains more than 100 billion neurones, each of which is connected to 10,000 other neurones. Even the most powerful computer system cannot boast that many connections. More than one quarter of the oxygen needed by the body is used by the brain.

At just twelve weeks old, the unborn fetus has fingerprints. These are unique and cannot be changed.

The smallest muscle in the body is inside the middle ear. It is just one millimeter long and supports one of the small bones inside the ear which is called the stirrup.

There are twenty-nine known human blood groups. The rarest of these is A-H which has only been found in very few families, mostly in Japan.

The strongest muscle in the body is called the masseter which is at the back of the jaw, and this is the one that allows the chewing of food, and the hardest substance in the human body is the enamel that covers the teeth.

Wow! What a body!