The Horror Within: 50 Frightening Facts About the Human Body – Part 7

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26The Surprising Second Brain in Your Stomach

The Surprising Second Brain in Your Stomach

There's a "second brain" surrounding our stomach that has more neurons than a cat's brain. It is capable of controlling digestion, autonomous reflexes, memories, and even senses, leading to the idea that our gut has evolved to handle the critical action of nutrition separately from the main brain. It's thought to have come about because of the blood-brain barrier and the main brain being locked away in the skull, away from the critical action of nutrition. This explains the existence of the "butterflies in the stomach" sensation.

27. If the brainstem, the part of the brain that controls most body movements, is damaged, a person can experience "locked-in" syndrome, where they are fully conscious but unable to move or speak, except for the muscles controlling eye movement. It can be caused by toxins, blockage of the basilar artery, or other brainstem damage.

28. As many as 55% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, most often before a woman misses her menstrual period. They are expelled instead as a "heavy period," and most women don’t even realize that they miscarried. Also, more than 80% of miscarriages occur within the first three months of pregnancy, mostly caused by chromosomal abnormalities.

29. We each have a blind spot in the center of our eye, where the optic nerve is located, and it's bigger than we might think. It can be easily "seen" by doing a simple self-experiment with a pen and a napkin. Simply draw a cross and a dot on the napkin, hold it about an arm's length away from your face, and close one eye. Move the napkin closer to your face until the dot disappears behind the cross. The dot is actually in the blind spot of your eye, showing how our brains fill in the missing information to create a seamless image.

30. Humans could theoretically breathe a liquid that's super saturated with oxygen. One such liquid is perfluorocarbon. The density of liquid, however, is so much higher than air that after 15 minutes or so, a person would be too fatigued to continue breathing, and the hardest part would be preventing pneumonia by getting all the liquid out of the lungs.

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31The Biggest and Smallest Cells in the Human Body

The Biggest and Smallest Cells in the Human Body

The human body is home to some surprising cell size comparisons. While sperm may be the smallest cell in the body, with the naked eye, you can actually see human eggs (ovum), which are the largest visible cells in the body. Meanwhile, some neurons can be incredibly long, stretching up to several feet in length, they are still not visible without the help of a microscope.

32. When your brain doesn't get enough stimulation, it will create its own! Colors you see before you fall asleep are a common but mild occurrence. In extreme classes of hallucinations, there are closed-eye visuals, caused by leaving your eyes closed for a long time; hypnagogia, which is caused by the onset of sleep; prisoners' cinema, which is caused by looking into a dark place for a long time; the ganzfeld effect, which is caused by blocking out all external stimuli; and Charles Bonnet Syndrome, caused by sight loss. Some of these can be whole imagined scenes or more abstract, fractal-like imagery.

33. Your heart can generate its own electrical impulses (i.e., action potentials) because it is constantly depolarizing. Therefore, it can beat even after it's removed from the body. heart Transplants are possible due to the fact that the heart only requires oxygenated blood supply to continue beating on its own. After transplants, surgeons don’t really reconnect the nervous system to the new heart and will just leave it working independently, and it will continue to work fine.

34. Having a bowel movement can temporarily alter your heart rhythm due to a vagus response and even lead to dire consequences like a heart attack or passing out. This is why EMTs will not let you use the bathroom before getting on the ambulance. The vagus nerve is also the one that causes "poo-phoria." This is when your bowel movement stimulates the vagus nerve, causing feelings of exhilaration, intense relaxation, and goose bumps, especially after passing "a large mass of stool."

35. Our body's urge to breathe is actually to get rid of carbon dioxide and not to intake oxygen! The presence of carbon dioxide triggers the sensation of breathing. This is why you would not suffer if you suffocated in nitrogen. This is what makes low oxygen levels so dangerous, as we may not realize it before it's too late. This is also why carbon monoxide is such a hazardous gas!

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36Synovial Fluid: The Frictionless Wonder

Synovial Fluid: The Frictionless Wonder

The fluid in your joints is so slippery that it makes the stuff you use to grease up your bike chain look like sandpaper. It's called synovial fluid, and it is one of the most frictionless substances on the planet. It's more frictionless than Teflon. This amazing lubricant is crucial for smooth joint movement and is only surpassed by other man-made lubricants like perfluoropolyethers, silicone oils, and graphite. No wonder our joints can move so effortlessly!

37. Your brain filters out an overwhelming amount of stimuli in order for you to function normally. It helps you wear clothes without feeling them on your skin, breathe without hearing or noticing it, and even swallow food with ease by controlling complex movements. Your nose is always in your vision, but your brain just ignores it, and your tongue constantly moves in your mouth without voluntary inputs.

38. The levator ani muscle, located in the pelvic area, is so strong that it has been documented to remain intact even in serious car accidents, even in cases where people have broken other bones. It is responsible for keeping our buttholes in place and aiding in the most important bodily function of all—pooping! It also makes your butthole pucker, and its name translates to "lift the anus."

39. When you're feeling highly stressed, your blood thickens to encourage clotting in case of a physical attack. But beware—this is often why stress contributes to heart attacks. And to add to the weirdness, did you know that some people experience a phenomenon called "stress-induced tears," where tears can start flowing uncontrollably when feeling highly stressed?

40. When a pregnant woman experiences organ damage (such as a heart attack), her fetus sends stem cells to repair it! But why doesn't the body do this without a fetus? Well, it turns out that having an abundance of stem cells in the body increases the risk of cancer, and the most common cancers actually stem from organs with a high population of stem cells.

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41Collar Bone, the Circuit Breaker of Your Skeleton

Collar Bone, the Circuit Breaker of Your Skeleton

The collarbone, also known as the clavicle, is the most frequently broken bone in your body, and that's because it's actually designed to break! Imagine your collar bone as a circuit breaker, absorbing the shock from impacts and preventing it from reaching your spine, which could cause paralysis. It's like your body's way of saying, "Better a broken bone than a broken back!"

42. Our brain chemistry is stable enough to last thousands of years if it is not diseased; it's the rest of the body that kills us. The neurons in our brain have the potential to outlive the rest of our body, but our own lifestyle choices can put an end to this possibility. Not getting enough sleep, drinking too much, and a few other things can quickly hurt our brains and make them age faster than the rest of our bodies.

43. On average, you produce and swallow 1 to 2 liters of saliva every single day. It's not just water, though; it's a concoction of bacteria, enzymes, dead cells, and a secret ingredient called haptocorrin. This unique substance acts like a bodyguard for Vitamin B12, binding to it to protect it from being destroyed by strong stomach acid before it can be absorbed in the intestine. Also, introverts tend to produce more saliva than extroverts!

44. Humans are bioluminescent. We literally glow, but the light is 1,000 times less intense than the levels to which our eyes are sensitive. This occurs due to metabolic reactions within our cells. Japanese scientists have captured images of human bioluminescence and found that the amount of light emitted follows a 24-hour cycle, with the brightest light being emitted from the cheeks, forehead, and neck, but these areas did not correspond with the brightest areas on thermal images.

45. The skin of all human beings is covered in stripes. They're called Blaschko’s Lines, and they cover the body from head to toe. We just can't see them with the naked eye. They only become visible under UV light. However, these stripes, which run from head to toe, can be seen in people with certain skin conditions and even chimerism. It's almost as if our skin is secretly wearing a UV-illuminated, body-hugging pattern, just waiting to be revealed.

46Debunking the Myth of Continued Nail Growth After Death

Debunking the Myth of Continued Nail Growth After Death

The belief in vampire mythology was partly influenced by the physical transformation of the human body after death. The corpses were found to have grown long teeth and had bloating and red liquid seeping from the mouth, but these were the result of soft tissues in the fingers and hands contracting as they lost moisture and the belly expanding from gases. This happened to people who died of tuberculosis when there was no understanding of germs and disease and people were getting thin, pale, and weaker until they died.

47. The hyoid bone is the only bone in the human body that is not attached to any other bones. This is the reason it is not found on any anatomical skeletons on display. It acts as the anchor for the tongue. It's also the key to determining the type of strangulation that has occurred, as it's the bone that breaks in cases of hanging. That's one powerful little bone!

48. The reason we often dislike the sound of our recorded voice is due to missing low frequencies! When we speak, our voice is transmitted through air and bone conduction, but when recorded, it only captures the air-transmitted sound, which leads to a higher pitch and a disconnect from what we think our voice sounds like.

49. Our bodies have the ability to perform their own bypass procedures, known as collateral pathways, in the case of chronic arterial disease. However, this process takes time, and in the case of an acute onset, the pathways may not form in time. These pathways can also form in response to increased blood flow demand in a specific area of the body, such as in response to exercise or increased physical activity. This allows blood to bypass areas of blockage, allowing blood to flow to tissues that require it.

50. We're all just walking, talking pieces of stardust! Every atom in our bodies, from the oxygen in our lungs to the iron in our blood, was created inside a star before the Earth was even born. It's crazy to think that we're essentially made of exploding stars and are, in a way, the universe experiencing itself.

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  1. RE: Fact# 19 – Link Between Post-Op Recover & Farts:

    Peritonitis / appendicitis victim here. Can attest this is true. After surgery, when I woke up, I realized that everything in my gut was just…dead. Silent. Motionless. Nothing. It was the weirdest, scariest feeling ever. Just a big blob of motionless nothing that felt like a heavy weight sewn up inside me. I never realized how busy and active and noisy and alive my “stomach” (intestines) were until it all stopped doing anything at all. Took about 12 hours to start feeling normal again. Fully recovered. Thank God for surgeons and laparoscopic surgery!

  2. RE: Fact# 16 – Menstrual Cramps: When Womb Suffocates Itself:

    Add a little endometriosis and you are bleeding into your abdominal cavity as well, causing inflammation and bruise like pain. If enough gets on (or grows on) your pelvic floor muscles you can get spasms and cramps in places you’ve never imagined.

    Add some more and your bladder might stick to your uterus so when you have your period (and even when you don’t) your uterus contracting or your bladder emptying painfully tears the two apart again.

    Some endo on your ovaries and you might be able to spend several hours a month feeling the ovum struggling to be released.

    Add some adenomyosis into the mix and you are also bleeding inside the walls of your uterus, directly onto the muscles which are contracting.

    If that’s not enough, get some endo on your bowels and you can feel their inflamed muscles spasm every time you pass gas or have a bowel movement.

  3. RE: Fact# 35 – Breathing is Really About Expelling CO2 :

    Heavy smokers breathing is triggered by low oxygen level. This is why giving oxygen to smokers can be dangerous.

    • … Almost. People with COPD are at risk. More specifically, emphysema at a late stage. So they probably used to be heavy smokers, but that’s not what we pay attention to when giving oxygen. They are consistently below a 94% oxygen saturation and may be using their secondary drive called the hypoxic drive. It’s not dangerous to give them oxygen, just that they require more monitoring. If they stop breathing, we may need to breathe for them.

      99% of the time, it’ll take hours for them to stop breathing because of high O2 sat, though. Even when it does happen, they’ll usually breathe on their own again when you take them off oxygen for a little bit.

      At this point we’d give them low flow oxygen via nasal canula rather than the nonrebreather. So we’re still giving them O2.

  4. RE: Fact# 13 – Proprioception: The Unconscious Body Awareness:

    Proprioception as a whole is amazing and trying to program a robot to even approach a rough draft of it is incredibly difficult and really hammers home just how complex our brains are.

    Also the fact that some people just have flat out better proprioception is something to take into account and may help you understand why some people struggle with some tasks. It’s also part of why some people just suck at driving since that is also heavily dictated by proprioception.

    • Saw a article that showed language also has control over proprioception in regards to cardinal directions. Some languages change pronouns based on direction, and those speakers have much better sense of direction and location than other languages.

    • I watched a (I think it was BBC) documentary about a guy who has been living with zero proprioception since the 1970s (I think it was probably in the 1990s that I saw it). It was the most fascinating thing I ever saw.

      Most people, without proprioception, are completely, totally disabled. When this guy (and three of his colleagues at a butchers on the Isle of Weight) suffered a kind of flu, their specialised proprioception nerve fibres were destroyed. I believe that the other three ultimately died.

      The poor bloke who survived had this condition that no one understood, and was entirely on his own. He must have been the most remarkable man that was ever born, because ultimately, he retrained himself to be able to move again. He did so by carefully watching his body at all times. In the dark, he was still 100% disabled. He lived with his mother, but other than that was amazing.

      He never complained, had an incredible positive attitude, and was non-bitter, although it would have irked a saint to have such an incredibly difficult condition and never been able to explain it to most people, many of whom just would think he was a nut if he tried.

      The doctors scanned his brain (not like today’s scanners) and saw that the effort he put into simply moving around was at the very top of mental concentration ability. They said that just walking around a room probably took as much mental effort as an Olympic athlete competing at the highest level of performance.

      In the programme, they said he travelled the world offering therapy to fellow sufferers-re-training them to live again-if they had suffered similar damage. Really fascinating.

      I’d love to know what happened to him in the end.

  5. RE: Fact# 1 – Tongue Movement: The Autonomous Mystery in Your Mouth:

    In dental school, I learned this fact when practicing taking impressions on each other. My buddy’s tongue kept licking my finger. I asked him to quit licking me, and he was like “ I can’t help it!” And then we switched places and my tongue wouldn’t leave him alone.

    And for those of you that don’t think your tongue does this: some of you are right. But the majority of you just think your tongue is behaving, but it is all over the place without you even knowing.

  6. RE: Fact# 8 – Our Immune System Can Kill Us Faster Than Ebola:

    The Justinian plague (a precursor to the Bubonic plague) was spreading itself around 500-700AD. There are reports of people dying within hours of developing symptoms. Of course, if a virus kills that quickly it’ll burn itself out and no one will be around to spread it.

    • The 1918 flu pandemic killed that quickly. There is a story of a woman who felt poorly at lunch time. She did her normal work day and left on the train to head home. She was dead by the time she reached her stop.

      You have to keep in mind, a viral infection does not immediately become symptomatic. You usually have some length of time, weeks, days, hours before the viral load becomes significant enough to cause distress. The first sign of that distress is typically your own bodies reaction to the invader.

      The only reason we know Ebola in Humans so well is tradition. When someone in parts of Africa dies of Ebola, it is tradition to wash the body and lay it out in state.

      Because of this, we know when someone has first come in contact with the infected. From that, and that persons time of death, we know that it averages 4 days to kill. Although there is some evidence that some strains can kill in a day.

      I recently saw a story that there is now an effective vaccine against Ebola. The story I read did not mention which strain it was targeting. However, this is very hopeful news. Death from this virus is not something I would wish on anyone.

      I will wait for a full report on that vaccine to show up on a legit service.

  7. RE: Fact# 4 – Split-Brain Syndrome: A Fascinating Case of Dual Consciousness:

    My little sister was born without a corpus callosum it comes with some hearing, learning, and vision disabilities but it lets her do some weird shit too!

    She’s fully ambidextrous to the point where she can draw with her left hand (pretty well too) and write normally with her right. She’s colorblind in one eye but not the other, but the colorblind one is so sensitive to light she can see pretty well in pitch darkness. She gets an excuse to wear cool glasses that have one side blacked out.

  8. RE: Fact# 2 – Greater Omentum: A Protective Apron for the Intestines:

    This often makes things hard to treat. Like in case of a busted appendix. The peritoneum sometimes fuses itself with the appendix and the part of large intestine and forms a mass. And surgery to remove the messed up appendix is annoying.

    • This happened to my mother! She went under to have a routine hysterectomy that was supposed to take an hour and a half. She ended up in the OR for over 7 hours because when the doctor opened her up, they found that at some point in her life, her appendix had burst and shot through her right ovary and it became a hard cement like mass attached to her intestines and it was strangling her right urethra. They also discovered her kidney was underdeveloped and down way lower than it should’ve been. She ended up losing the kidney a year later. The doctors name was Dr. Balaci, he wrote about it in a medical journal, but he tried to take pictures and they didn’t come out! Crazy stuff!

  9. RE: Fact# 44 – Bioluminescence of the Human Body: I went to a natural cave attraction once where they take you down into the cave and turn off the lights so you can see how black it is. It was amazing. It didn’t matter if my eyes were open or closed, there was no difference.

    Then a woman said “I can still see you.” And the tour guide said, “Oh really. What am I doing now?” and she said “You’re holding your left arm in the air.” He turned the lights back on and he had an amazed look on his face. He said she was right, that he had been holding his left arm in the air. He asked her how she knew and she said “I can see your aura.”

    She claimed she could see the energy coming off his body, even in the dark.

  10. RE: Fact# 7 – Tattoo Removal :

    Also if you’ve gotten tattoos, your lymph nodes are likely dyed the colors you got, it gets filtered through over time, so if they cut you open, the normally pink nodes are kind of greenish.

  11. RE: Fact# 9 – Impending Sense of Doom as a Medical Warning Sign:

    Cardiovascular dude here who operates on heart attack patients, this is very true. Anyone that says “im going to die”, or “I need to get up / sit up / get out of here” is my immediate red flag.

    • This gets complicated for people who have panic attacks. I’ve had attacks where I have the impending doom, the “I need to get up / get out of here”, chest pains, tingling arm, etc etc but then I end up fine. Even been to an urgent care center and an ER, everything always came back fine.

      One thing that works to get me past a panic attack is to tell myself I’ve already been through this before and the symptoms aren’t real. But then I always worry that I’ll ignore real symptoms one day. One day I’ll have a sense of impending doom, tell myself I’ve already felt that way 100 times before and it’s not real, and not long after I’ll be dead.

  12. RE: Fact# 1 – Tongue Movement: The Autonomous Mystery in Your Mouth:

    When I’m at the dentist i try to get my tongue as far away as whatever sharp object the dentist is holding, but sometimes it still frickin ends up there. its usually embarrassing because its after they just warned me to not do that because of whatever sharp thing

    • If the dentist is any good they’re already helping guide your tongue away from where it shouldn’t be. Sounds like you’re just trying too hard to consciously avoid things and ending up fighting with the dentist. Just stop thinking about it so much and let your tongue “go with the flow” and you’ll probably have better results.

  13. RE: Fact# 3 – Immune Privilege of Eyes:

    I’ve always heard this, but how does your immune system have no idea about an organ? Does the immune system just kinda “not my job” or what?

    • T cells are “trained” in the thymus not to react to antigens from your own cells—the ones that do react are killed off, and when this process goes wrong, it’s often a cause autoimmune disease). Not all of the bodies antigens are shown to T cells in the thymus for various reasons

  14. RE: Fact# 17 – Teratomas: Tumors with Shocking Capabilities:

    Actually teratomas can develop brain tissue ( its not a brain that can think for itself) the result can be an auto immune condition called anti- NMDA encephalitis where you immune system attacks your brain tissue in your head having recognized brain tissue in the tumor as being not normal tissue. It’s the condition that the lady in the Netflix show “brain on fire” had. Its terrifying because its really common that people with the condition are often misdiagnosed as having a mental health condition and can spend months receiving the wrong treatment.

  15. RE: Fact# 32 – Eyes Closed, Mind Open: The World of Closed-Eye Visuals:

    I started getting hypnogogic hallucinations after my dad died and I had a major relationship breakdown.

    It’s not something that you can control unlike a lucid dream, your eyes are open and you are aware/awake/awakening. And you aren’t paralysed, you can move and talk, it’s not always scary, more annoying than anything. It happens when I’m falling asleep within the first 30mins to 1hr.

    Mine in the form of hallucinating/thinking:
    – big black helium balloons floating above the bed
    – the blinds or curtains were open so I tried to close them only to realise they were already closed – meanwhile I’ve become entangled in the blinds/curtains 😂
    – my bedside lamp was broken so I unscrewed the bulb whilst desperately trying to turn the light back on wondering wtf is happening – it wasn’t broken, the light worked perfectly fine

    The worst was one time I thought someone broke into my house and this dark figure was leaning over my bed about to throttle me.

    In summer I also sleep with a pedestal fan an the shadows made it look like a monkey once.

    I’ve learnt that sleeping in a pitch black room with no shadows or lights from TVs or anything or a sleeping mask helps.

    • I’ve never seen anyone describe what happens to me! I’ve had mine since I was very little, but they get more frequent periodically and can really effect rest for myself and my partner.

      I get spiders floating over my bed (not scary ones, my partner catches me sitting up in bed trying to catch them sometimes) and goddamn the curtains one has me up constantly. I also often think the blinking light on the smoke detector is a camera and find myself out of bed staring at it kind of often. I keep our bedroom as empty of things as I can, because anything (or nothing, really) can turn into something and keep me up. Hotels can be a nightmare because of it.

      Ive had a couple of the super scary shadow people ones in my life, those are no joke.

  16. RE: Fact# 17 – Teratomas: Tumors with Shocking Capabilities:

    I’ve had two of those! The one I had removed when I was 18 was full of different bits of bone and hair and teeth, and when it grew back at 29 it was half hair, half sebum 😊

  17. RE: Fact# 41 – Collar Bone, the Circuit Breaker of Your Skeleton:

    Yea but it’s one of the if not the hardest bone to set and heal as a doctor

    • Mine broke in a car accident as a kid. It healed but my shoulder became immobile and hunched. I thought that’s just the way it was gonna be. Then a decade later I’m at my chiropractor because of an ice skating accident. So he un-jams my hip much to my relief, then asks about my hunched shoulder. I explain the old injury. Well he does some kind of adjustment and there was a loud pop, a flash of pain, and lo and behold I could move my shoulder again after YEARS.

      Apparently when bones break, they get a mass of stiff, fibrous tissue built up around the injury. This helps immobilize the area so the bone can heal, sort of like a natural cast. The tissue usually breaks down over time but can also harden into calcified bumps. The calcification around the break in my collarbone had hardened and stuck onto one of my upper ribs, causing the immobility.

      What baffles me is that no doctor or physical therapist I had gone to had ever brought that up as a possibility and just let me live like that.

      • That’s crazy, but all that surprising. A couple years ago I broke my radial bone in my elbow and had to have surgery. The doctors were all very kind/etc but I felt like a cow on an assembly line moving on from one healthcare worker to the next. No communication between them.

        I came back after surgery, Doc (intern actually) looked me over, and out of curiosity I was asking him exactly what they did in there and how it worked, etc. Then they sent me upstairs for physio appointment. Physiotherapist had no idea what they did other than what I was able to tell him from my own very layman level of understanding from asking questions. Ended up with a very restrictive brace because I was under the impression they cut through tendons and the PT said if that was the case I needed a lot of protection.

        6 weeks later back at my final visit with the surgeon, and because I’ve been wearing this brace for 6 weeks I had lost all my range of movement, and the surgeon was like “yeah you didn’t need that you just need need physio”. Wut. You mean I wore this really annoying brace for 6 weeks and I didn’t have to? And now I need more physio because I lost range of motion because of it?

        Like why couldn’t the first physio just take the time to find out what the surgeon actually did and come up with a proper treatment?

        Such bad communication between departments. And supposedly this is the best hospital in the region for hand and upper arm injuries.

  18. RE: Fact# 3 – Immune Privilege of Eyes:

    Immunotherapy to treat my cancer has caused my immune system to attack my eyes. Imagine the worst allergies ever or having pink eye in both eyes 24/7. Immunotherapy induced conjunctivitis is what it’s called. No known cure, no medication helps. Everyday I suffer. Everyday I pray I wake up and it will be gone.

  19. RE: Fact# 31 – The Biggest and Smallest Cells in the Human Body:

    And speaking of sperm, the reason men ejaculate millions of sperm to accommodate a single egg is because just like their male host, sperm don’t ask for directions either.

  20. RE: Fact# 10 – Tongue and Lip Sensory Powers: More Than Just Taste Buds:

    This is crazy..I just looked all around the room at stuff and it’s true

  21. RE: Fact# 6 – Vitamin C’s Role in Bone and Wound Health:

    I have neurodermatitis so skin wounds are nothing unusual for me. I was however really surprised when a damaged patch of skin on the inner side of my hand, that has completely healed and was practically gone for over 3 years, suddenly reappeared. Like, exactly as it used to look like. At that time, my wrist which I had stowed as a kid also began slightly hurting again when pressure was applied.

    Went to the doctor and got told I had very low collagen levels. Got some vitamin c pills, ate lots of fruit and was back to normal again. No wrist pain, no damaged hand skin.

    That made me realise, nothing about your body is a one-time as-is purchase, it’s a subscription.

  22. RE: Fact# 24 – Right & Wrong Way to Swallow:

    I wonder how many other people are currently gagging on their own tongue trying this out, and realising they never progressed beyond ‘baby swallowing’. (That sounds all kinds of wrong.)

    • It get’s more awkward! Some call it a “reverse thrust.” Others call it a reverse swallow or developmental swallow.

      But good point, if you do try to overanalyze your swallow, use 1 SPOONFUL of water and see if you can swallow while your teeth show without leaking through your teeth.

      Not a sip, not a straw, not food. A SPOONFUL of WATER. That way if you do choke, it’s minimal, and only water. And also, if you do have that swallow pattern, switching to the “correct” one can make you choke on larger amounts the first time, as it’s typically stronger, faster, and will stimulate nerves not used to that pattern. Water should NOT come through your teeth if you swallow properly.

      • Can attest to this. I used to have the developmental swallow and it actually changed the structure of my lower jaw to be less strong and less prominent as I grew up (I didn’t have a prominent chin like normal people). Went through a year and a half of jaw therapy and lower maxillofacial jaw surgery and I’m now all better. Some other things to note when it comes to swallowing and other tongue/jaw related items:

        1. Check the position of your tongue, it should always be on the roof of your mouth
        2. Lip strength and tongue strength are pretty close together, so try to work those lips (practice the “kiss” face)
        3. Jaw mobility itself can play a role
        4. The main cause of my jaw issues was the fact I couldn’t breath through my nose (80+% of my airway was blocked by the adenoid), therefore I couldn’t breath while I ate causing me to eat quicker, chew less, and that really messed up my swallowing the most.

  23. RE: Fact# 11 – When Your Brain Plays Tricks with Your Pain Perception:

    When pain is inflicted on my leg, like someone hits it or kicks it (I do japanese jujitsu so more frequent than you’d think) – or when I’m getting my legs waxed, or my boyfriend has done physical therapy on my legs (maybe aggressive massage /stretching is a good oversimplification here) – I start getting a supper annoying ache in my clavicle area, usually the right side.

    Its so weird because there’s no nervous connection or meridian or whatever between the two areas that I know of so I do not get how this happens. Confuses the heck out of my boyfriend too.

  24. RE: Fact# 18 – Power of Stomach Acid: The Secret to Our Digestion:

    I used to be a colorectal nurse. Sometimes after bowel surgery, the bowel sort of goes on strike as a protective mechanism (gastric ileus). I’d get very distressed patients repeatedly vomiting because they wouldn’t allow us to place a nasogastric tube to decompress their stomach.

    The other problem faced by our patients was when they farted. Despite fasting for several days, they’d often get the shock of shitting their bed.

    • Predominantly from the Helicobacter pylori infections that lead to the thinning or partial removal of the mucosal lining, after which the stomach acid starts damaging the stomach lining

      A similar result can also ensue from long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, for example ibuprofen

      • That happened to my mom last year, she was taking ultra high doses of Advil to deal with her pain after her hip replacement surgery had been indefinitely postponed in the early stages of covid.

        Ate a hole in her duodenum and needed emergency surgery to correct that and ironically delay her hip replacement even further.

  25. RE: Fact# 28 – Startling Statistics on Pregnancy Loss:

    We had our second child via IVF, as we were older and my wife kept having miscarriages. We started getting the embryos tested and it was amazing how screwed up most of them were. They actually show you the genetics. Missing chromosomes. Busted chromosomes. Like an old Scratched CD, the data all corrupted. Sure put all the failed pregnancies into perspective. Gets to 5 6 7 weeks and the program halts or crashes in some catastrophic manner.

  26. RE: Fact# 11 – When Your Brain Plays Tricks with Your Pain Perception:

    I had a kidney infection and had no idea because the UTI symptoms were silent and I felt the pain on the right side of my sternum, in the gall bladder area. Went to the hospital because I had god awful pain in the middle of the night, I did blood tests and an ultrasound of my gall bladder and they couldn’t figure out what it was until my urinalysis came back.

    • I’m 39 yrs old and need both knees replaced. They tried this. I’m allergic to it 😔. First shot was unbelievably painful and I’m not allowed to get another.

  27. RE: Fact# 15 – Newborn Babies Can Secretly Produce Milk:

    Babies can also get uric acid crystals (or something like that, don’t quote me, I’m tired) that comes out looking rust red, or like blood in their urine, causing some to think their newborn had a period. It’s totally normal, but scared the crap out of us when we thought our newborn was peeing blood.

    • Gotta be super vigilant while on accutane and quit cold Turkey if you notice any bad side effects. Was on it for a month a few years ago and it gave me ED. Told my derm. She took me off of it immediately, and put me on doxycycline instead which cleared me up.

      I remember reading dozens of stories in accutane forums by dudes talking about accutane giving them ED, but finishing the treatment anyway at the suggestion of their doctor and never being able to get it up again.

      I went completely back to normal a week or two after getting off of it btw.

  28. RE: Fact# 16 – Menstrual Cramps: When Womb Suffocates Itself:

    I will never forget the time I had severe food poisoning while on the worst day of my period. Puke coming out one end, liquid fire sh*ts out the other, and each heave felt like I was going to pass out from the pain. It was legitimately the worst few hours of my life.

    • Oh I’ve actually passed out from pain on the toilet with my period. But that’s cause a cyst ruptured. Woke up dripping sweat, grey in the face, and freezing cold in the middle of July. Not fun. Do not recommend.

      Well technically I wasn’t actually on the toilet when I passed out. I went to the toilet cause I thought I had to sh*t, then when I tried to sh*t it was super painful and I started getting cold sweats so I made my way back to my bed with my vision going in and out and passed out there. I’ve had similar but less severe incidents before so I have an idea of when shit’s gonna get bad and I knew with the cold sweats coming on I needed to find a soft place to lay down.

      My mom found me some time later and almost screamed cause she wasn’t sure I was alive until she touched me and I was burning up. I begged her not to call an ambulance or take me to the ER because I knew they’d take forever to find nothing because finding an already ruptured ovarian cyst is apparently not easy. I said I’d rather be in my bed in the dark than have to suffer through the chaos of the ER and then get charged an insane bill for it.

      It always seems to come back to how shitty the american healthcare system is. I’d rather suffer severe pain (and possibly die cause while it was probably a ruptured ovarian cyst I had no way of knowing for certain) at home without any medical care than have to deal with our healthcare system.

  29. RE: Fact# 27 – Locked-In Syndrome: The Trapped Consciousness:

    My mom’s partner is like this. He had one stroke too many in January and lives in a hospital bed now. We didn’t think he’d make it a week, but it’s almost June now. She visits him 5 days a week. He’s been asked if he wants to stay alive and he’s always “eyed” yes so…woof. Not me, I think I’d rather die.

    • I just watched a most fucked up video on youtube about a couple who left their locked-in daughter on the couch for years. By the end, she had ROTTED her whole bottom into the couch. When she finally died, her skin was gone. I was crying by the time I got done with the video. I hope the parents get beaten in prison.

  30. RE: Fact# 7 – Tattoo Removal :

    That’s true. White blood cells specifically carry this task. The tattoo removal doesn’t actually remove the ink, it breaks down the paint particles so small so the white blood cells can carry them out faster. Naturally, the body is constantly fighting the tattoo. That’s why over time tattoos wear off but never completely, because paint particles are too big for our white blood cells to get rid of them.

    If you have AIDS and you have a tattoo, your tattoo is most likely to stay fresh until you die

  31. RE: Fact# 20 – Cancer: A Matter of Luck?:

    A friend has a PhD in Biomedical Science and researches cancer and cancer treatment at an Ivy League medical center. They shared that the two largest causes of cancer are sunlight and water. The sunlight because of our continual exposure throughout a lifetime.

    By water they literally meant literally pure, H2O, because of the process by which our cells draw in and release water over and over and over again. This damages our cells that can replicate and cause cancer to arise.

  32. RE: Fact# 11 – When Your Brain Plays Tricks with Your Pain Perception:

    I had something similar. I had the worst pain under my left armpit. It was unbearable. Doctors told me to wear a more supportive bra. I already had one but spent a fortune on a fancy one. Didn’t help.

    I finally got sent for an ultrasound and they found stones in my gallbladder. Had it removed a few weeks later and the pain never came back

  33. RE: Fact# 22 – Hidden Physical Strength:

    This is actually one of the reasons why the mentally handicapped can do so much damage.

    Their anger/fear pretty much always overrides the “don’t break your body” signal, I think I read that some don’t produce the signal at all. But it results in that when they get angry/scared they don’t hold back, they’ll break all their fingers on the first swing, break their wrist on the second and just keep punching anyway.

  34. RE: Fact# 9 – Impending Sense of Doom as a Medical Warning Sign:

    Former EMT here. The term we used was angor animi, and it’s a very real thing. Critical patients, before they went unresponsive were known to say “please don’t let me die. Promise you won’t let me die.” It happens frequently enough that we have a pat response: You are in good hands, and we will do everything we can. We were told to never, ever tell a patient we weren’t going to let them die. Because if they were asking, they probably were going to die. They didn’t want any medic to have the burden of lying to someone right before they died. You’re in good hands, we’re doing everything we can. It would play in my head after a code that never got a pulse back, while I’m eating a shitty ER sandwich and slamming the third energy drink of the night. You’re in good hands, we’re doing everything we can.

  35. RE: Fact# 13 – Proprioception: The Unconscious Body Awareness: I once read that when constructing our mental image of the world, our visual cortex apparently takes more input from our memory than from our eyes.

    • This is essentially true. The visual cortex does all the heavy lifting. The eyes mostly just supply “reference material” to validate the simulation.

      You can think of vision being less like “cameras” that show you what is outside of your head, and more like a graphical simulation (like a video game animation) that you’re watching which represents the world more or less closely. Sometimes the game’s graphics glitch. Sometimes entire avatars can appear that aren’t present. Sometimes the wrong avatar pops in (ie: the coat hanging on your bedroom door briefly becoming a scary monster in the middle of the night).

      Similarly, the visual cortex also tries to optimize at all times to save computational resources which is why you’ll often most easily see things you’re expecting to see, and not see things you’re not expecting to see (eg: the famous gorilla+basketball experiment). It’s a complex pattern recognition system, but it has faults that are easily noted by those looking for them.

      It’s less like watching a recording made by a camcorder than it is watching a video game on a monitor.

      As an aside, this is generally how the entirety of the subjective personal experience operates. None of it should be taken on faith even though our instinct (by design) wants to take it on faith. We’ll even retroactively update/forget errors in perception, minimizing the perceived impact of those glitches.

  36. RE: Fact# 42 – Lifespan of Our Brain & Lifestyle:

    There’s an episode in Supernatural where there’s a doctor who just keeps replacing his organs when they fail so he lives eternally. I wonder if it’s actually possible 🤔

  37. RE: Fact# 3 – Immune Privilege of Eyes:

    I got one better, my immune system destroyed my bone marrow and gave me aplastic anemia so now my body doesn’t make any new blood anymore. Got treated 4 years ago with ATGAM and cured but it can always come back and then I’d need a bone marrow transplant in hopes that it would work if not I’m out of luck.

  38. RE: Fact# 11 – When Your Brain Plays Tricks with Your Pain Perception:

    Lmao I once woke up like my testificles were gonna birth a watermelon, and the doctors also wanted to first check if it was torsion. Voila, kidney stone in the left vuj.

  39. RE: Fact# 1 – Tongue Movement: The Autonomous Mystery in Your Mouth:

    I’ve noticed this when flossing my teeth and looking in the mirror, my tongue will just be moving around all on its own and even if I try and will it to stay in place, it’ll just keep wiggling and doing its own thing regardless.

  40. RE: Fact# 26 – The Surprising Second Brain in Your Stomach: The little brain in our innards, in connection with the big one in our skulls, partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body.

    “The second brain doesn’t help with the great thought processes…religion, philosophy and poetry is left to the brain in the head,” says Michael Gershon.

    We likely evolved this intricate web of nerves to perform digestion and excretion “on site,” rather than remotely from our brains through the middleman of the spinal cord.

    Although gastrointestinal (GI) turmoil can sour one’s moods, everyday emotional well-being may rely on messages from the brain below to the brain above. For example, electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve—a useful treatment for depression—may mimic these signals, Gershon says.

    • Also there is Serotonin. Serotonin is the primary mood regulator in our body. And surprisingly, most of our serotonin comes not from our brain, but our gut. 90% to be exact. I’ve heard figures of 70% however anecdotal.

      This is why eating healthy has just as much to do with mental health as it does with physical. One of your bodies response to food is to release serotonin. However, the type and quality of that food is what determines the release and amount of serotonin.

      Remember how you feel after eating a lot of turkey? You feel full, but content and happy. That’s because L-tryptophan is a pre-cursor to serotonin. It is the amino acid that your body uses to produce serotonin. Technically, it turns L-tryptophan into 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan) and then turns that into serotonin. This is why there are 5-HTP supplements that you can buy at the store that help with serotonin production (mood).

  41. RE: Fact# 23 – Your Testicles Have a Mind of Their Own:

    I’m a woman and it freaks me out as well, BF shows me when it happens because I’m just marveled at it.

  42. RE: Fact# 12 – Green Bones from Acne Meds:

    Also Accutane is just mega doses of Vitamin A. Which is why it’s so tightly regulated. When they first introduced the medication, Doctors weren’t testing levels properly and the systemic build up was triggering psychotic episodes. So there was a period of time where the psychotic episodes were happening but no one had put together all the clues as to why. It was just like “man! sure are a lot of kids going nuts, what’s that about?”

  43. RE: Fact# 43 – The Surprising Science of Saliva:

    This is why sublingual B12 or a shot are the most reliable ways to supplement it.

  44. RE: Fact# 22 – Hidden Physical Strength: If you get electrocuted strongly enough, it can actually cause your nervous system to maximally fire all of the muscle fibers in your body at once, which produces enough force to launch your body a good distance without you even jumping. If you ever see footage of someone getting “blown back” by an electric shock, that’s 100% their own muscles propelling them, electricity produces no direct mechanical force.

    • Heard a tale from my old foreman at the electric company I worked at. Guy he knew was carrying EMT (metal pipe) vertically outside when he hit some low hanging power supply wires. His leg muscles contracted so hard he kicked himself in the ass with both feet and blew his knees completely out.

  45. RE: Fact# 13 – Proprioception: The Unconscious Body Awareness:

    Similarly the stopped clock phenomenon. When you first glance at a watch and the second hand seems frozen for way more than a second. I’m sure it has to do with our eyes moving and our brain filling in information while they do.

    • It’s because your brain erases your memory of perception while your eyes are moving too fast to see anything anyway. Then it goes back in time and fills in that memory with what you end up looking at.

      So, in reality what happened was:

      1. Look at your teacher.
      2. Swing your eyes over to the clock.
      3. Look at the clock. It says 5 seconds until class is over.

      But, what you perceive is

      1. Look at your teacher.
      2. Look at the clock. It says 5 seconds until class is over.
      3. Ughhh! The clock still says 5 seconds until class is over?!?
  46. RE: Fact# 29 – Discover Your Eye’s Surprising Secret: The Mysterious Blind Spot:

    The creepy thing to me is that your mind seems to fill in the blind spot with what you’d think would be there. It’s not like its a black spot in your vision, it still looks continuous enough to fool you into not realizing the blind spot exists.

  47. RE: Fact# 40 – Connection Between Pregnancy, Stem Cells, and Cancer:

    Sounds like we need to find a way to have a fetus permanently implanted into us that just continually repairs us.

  48. RE: Fact# 31 – The Biggest and Smallest Cells in the Human Body: How many eggs does a woman have?

    During fetal life, there are about 6 million to 7 million eggs. From this time, no new eggs are produced. At birth, there are approximately 1 million eggs; and by the time of puberty, only about 300,000 remain. Of these, only 300 to 400 will be ovulated during a woman’s reproductive lifetime. Fertility can drop as a woman ages due to decreasing number and quality of the remaining eggs.

  49. RE: Fact# 36 – Synovial Fluid: The Frictionless Wonder : I used to work in a factory that made hyaluronan, which is the primary component of joint fluid.

    If you spilled it on the floor, it would get so slippery that you could hardly walk. It was much worse than an ice skating rink. That stuff is crazy slippery.



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