Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Yourself

“Know thyself”. This is inscribed over the famous Greek temple at Delphi. But… this can prove to be rather difficult at times according to Ben Franklin. He wrote:“There are 3 extremely hard things, steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self.”

Here is a list of things that you may have not noticed:

Your Stomach is Very Smart

Animal have tons of neurons in their brains, but the stomach has a lot more, to the point where its collection of neurons is so complex, that some actually call it a “second brain”. Yes, other parts of the body also have high levels of neurons, such as the palms, but our stomachs are so unique that it can actually think for itself. This means that you can digest food without even thinking about it. Have you ever been nervous about something, irritable or even content for no apparent reason? Or have ever found yourself unable to concentrate after a huge meal? That is because your stomach is partly to blame—which gives you more reason to eat wisely.

As Hairy as a Chimp

Unless you suffer from Hypertrichosis, this statement might seem really untrue if you glance in the mirror, but you the truth is that you are actually just as hairy as most other primates. Just like chimps, we have hair all over our bodies, the only difference is that it is much finer and shorter than chimps. We have an average of 500-1000 square inches of hair follicles on our bodies.

Which is the hairiest creature of all? With nearly a million hairs per square inch, the Sea Otter puts all other animals to shame hands down!

We are All Miracles

Well done, you have already done the hardest thing you will ever have to do.” This is a sentence with which most Biology Teachers will start each New Year with. Students will look very puzzled by this statement, but let me explain. Each and every one of us started out as a perfectly symmetrical ball of cells, but miraculously we all ended up with a front, a back and sides. How is it possible for a spherical cell to form eyes, ears and nostrils? It has to actually flatten, twist and push itself into shape, which forms the first orifice you have… your anus.

Which brings me to the Biology Teachers second joke, “All humans are arses, and it’s just that some remain as arses for their whole lives.”

We are Part Virus

The Human Genome Project revealed just how much of our DNA has been contributed by viruses. Remember that no virus can reproduce on its own, which is why some viruses actually have to insert their DNA into a host cell in order to be copied. Say this virus inserts itself into a sperm or egg cell, then chances are the resulting offspring may carry the virus DNA in every one of its cells. Truth is that this has happened so many times in the human evolution that no less than 9% of our genome is directly as a result of viruses.

You Can’t Tickle Yourself

I bet you are trying it right now… but unless you have Schizophrenia, you won’t be able to tickle yourself. Tickling can be a key part of human bonding, especially when it comes to children and their parents. When we grow up, tickling might be something we hate, but more often than not, most people will never be able to overcome the nervous twitching and laughing that is paired with someone touching you in a certain way. Yet, we cannot tickle ourselves, this is because our brains knows what to expect and when to expect it. However, when you suffer from Schizophrenia, it’s not so easy to recognize the touch a belonging to themselves, many of them will laugh just as hard from a feather guided by their own hand.

You are Older than Your Body

As humans, we change all the time. We inhale, we exhale, we eat, and we excrete. We constantly take in molecules and expel others. However, when you are over the puberty age, then it’s possible that not a single part of your every belonged to your baby self. This leads to a question that is still being debated by philosophers: “If every part of your body is different today, are you still the same person you were at birth?”

We are Partially Blind

All of us, all of our eyes have a design fault; both of them have a blind spot. This specific blind sport is actually large enough to cause problems for those of us who might lose the sight in one eye. Likely for most of us, the fact that we have 2 eyes means that the blinds spots goes unnoticed.

Count without Counting

This is very simple, say for example you are presented with groups of up to four objects, you don’t actually have to count them in order to figure out how many there are. This happens because you have an instinctive grasp of the number of items, provided they are small groups. The Pirah Tribe in Brazil actually don’t have any numbers in their language, which is why they are unable to count, but they can still comprehend number up to four.

No Free-Will

This is a very violent debate: “Are you free to make your own choices, or are your choices shaped by forces beyond your control?” A lot of these arguments have been put down to both sides, but let’s focus on the experiment that was done by Benjamin Libet.

Libet was observing a patient’s brain and told him to move his hand wherever he wanted to. What he found was that the brain had a desire to move the hand, even before the patient was actually aware of this desire. This means that we may act impulsively without actually making the decision. We will then rationalize our action after if happens by saying we did something from our own free will.


There’s plenty animals that have stripes, like cats who have very clear lines or patches that developed as a certain cell started expressing different genes and then passed the vibration on to the other cells. Us as humans are no different, it’s only that our stripes aren’t visible. Usually these stripes can only be seen once a disease affects one type of cell and not a neighboring type.

Motion Sickness is caused by Your Insides Shifting

When a roller coaster comes over its crest, slows for a second for added torture, and then plummets downward, the seat belt keeps your rear in place, but some loosely connected internal organs—like your stomach and intestines—get a little “air time.” You’re not damaging your innards by riding even the craziest of coasters (everything returns to its proper place), but your nerves detect the movement, which registers as though your stomach has jumped into your throat.




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