Have you ever heard stories about Super heroes? But did you know that some people are born with super powers? No, they can’t fly or run 100 miles per hour, but they have “super” senses. Have you ever heard someone described as having “perfect pitch?” These are people with super hearing. They can tell the difference between tones that are similar and then make the same sound. Some people are born with “super taste.” They have extra surface area on their taste buds that gives a wider range to taste. The same is true with “Super Sniffers.” These people can tell the difference between the scents better than other people. Perfume companies often hire super sniffers to help them create new scents.
The Heart. Your heart beats more than 100,000 times a day. It will beat about 35 million times a year and over 2 billion times in the average lifetime. Why does it have to work so hard? Because adults only have about 6 quarts of blood in their body. That’s a little less than three large bottles of soda. And kids have even less. Your heart has to work hard to pump that blood to every cell of your body. Each beat moves blood through your body and travels through arteries, veins and capillaries. In a single day, your blood travels more than 12,000 miles, that’s like crossing the United States from coast to coast four times every day. To keep your heart healthy, eat lots of fruit and vegetables, limit sugar and fat, and exercise every day.
What is the largest organ in your body? It isn’t your heart, or your brain. In fact, the largest organ in your body isn’t actually “in” your body. It’s on your body. It’s your skin. In fact, your skin weighs so much, it usually accounts for about 1/6 of your total weight. Your skin is made up of cells. You lose about 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells every minute. But don’t worry, you have about 300 million more skin cells left on your body. Where does all that dead skin go? Look around. About half of the dust in your home is actually made up of dead skin cells. To keep your skin healthy, keep your skin clean and supple. If you get a cut, or your skin feels dry or tight, show your trusted grown up and they will help you fix your skin.
Your brain is an amazing part of your body. It has about 100,000 miles worth of blood vessels. That’s long enough to circle the earth! Your brain is split into two hemispheres, one on the right side of your head, and one on the left. But your right hemisphere controls the left side of your body.
Your brain isn’t a single, solid organ. The left hemisphere controls the right side. Your brain has more than 100 million neurons that you use when you think or move. The neurons talk to each other with tiny electrical impulses. But you have so many impulses that your brain actually creates more electrical impulses in a single day than all the telephones in the world generate. It’s enough electricity to light a small lightbulb.
Did you know that half of the bones in your body are found in your hands and feet? If you feel the center of your hand, you can feel the five long bones that connect your wrist to your fingers. Four of your fingers have three smaller bones, but your thumb only has two bones. Each of these bones is separated by a joint that allows you to flex your fingers and pick things up. Even though you probably don’t pick up many things with your feel, they have a similar bone arrangement. Next time you are barefoot, try picking up a small toy with your toes. Altogether, you have 54 bones in your hand and 52 bones in your feet. That is more than half of the 206 bones you have in your body.
Speaking of bones, did you know that some people have extra bones? That’s right, most people have 12 pairs of ribs protecting their chest. But some people have an extra pair of ribs near their neck. While only about one in a hundred people is born with this set of bones, most people don’t even know they exist. That’s not the only place people can have extra bones. Some people have extra bones in their feet. All bones start out as cartilage, a soft substance. If you wiggle the end of your nose, or the upper part of your ear, you are wiggling cartilage. You have a lot of cartilage in your feet and ankles. In some people, the cartilage turns to bone, giving them extra bones in their feet.
Do you know where your poop starts? In your mouth. That’s right, the first place your body begins the digestion process is in the mouth. Your teeth break your food into smaller pieces and your spit begins to break down those pieces so that your body can use them. Then the food goes into the stomach where acid breaks it down even more. Then the intestines can take what your body needs and turn the rest into poop.
Speaking of poop, do you know what it’s made of? Sure, it’s made of food that your body can’t use, but there is more to it than that. Poop is also make of old cells that your body doesn’t need anymore. It gets its brown color from the bile your stomach uses to break down food. But, if you eat candy with a lot of dye, or food that have bright colors like beets, you may notice that your poop may turn a bright color like purple or green.
You have probably seen detectives on TV track down a criminal by his fingerprints. But did you know why? It’s because your fingerprints are unique to you. Even twins have different fingerprints. But did you know that there are other ways that you are different from everyone else? When you were a tiny baby, the hospital probably took your footprint. Like your fingerprint, it is unique and will identify you for many years. In some countries, law enforcement has used the shape of the ear as a way of identifying people. Some computers are beginning to use eye scanners because the colored part of the eye, called the iris, is unique for each person. These are all ways to show that you are unique, special. There is no one else on earth that is quite like you.