Your body in numbers
By Murray Bourne, 17 Feb 2009
Our bodies are quite remarkable.
Here are some statistics about your body (assuming you are adult, and reasonably “average”).
Blood, Sweat and Tears
We have around 42 billion blood vessels and if we were to put them all end-to-end, it would stretch about 160,000 km (4 times around the Earth’s equator, or almost half way to the moon).
The heart pumps around 8,000 liters (800 buckets) of blood each day and 219 ML (megaliters) during a lifetime (around 88 Olympic swimming pools).
We excrete 14,200 liters of sweat (or around 1,400 buckets’ worth), but I imagine this will vary depending on your climate and lifestyle.
Most of us will cry 68 liters of tears (7 buckets) and I imagine there will be gender differences with this statistic.
We are constantly replacing our bones and will produce the equivalent of 12 skeletons of new bone during a lifetime.
Length of our DNA
Our DNA would stretch to the moon and back 8000 times.
The total length of DNA present in one adult human is calculated as:
(length of 1 base pair) × (number of base pairs per cell) ×(number of cells in the body)
= (3.4 × 10-10 m)(6 × 109)(1013)
= 2.0 × 1013 meters
That is the equivalent of nearly 70 trips from the earth to the sun and back.
2.0 × 1013 meters = 133.69 astronomical units
133.69 / 2 = 66.84 round trips to the sun
We take around 500 million breaths and inhale around 300 million liters of air during our lifetime.
There are over a quarter of a million extra people each day (almost 3 per second).
Population growth is one of the Earth’s major problems, since it is a major contributor to poverty, environmental degradation and global warming. I hope some of you (especially those in countries with high population growth) will study population issues and become activists in this area.
While in our mother’s womb, we produce something like 250,000 new brain cells every minute.
We have (almost) all of the neurons we are ever going to have at birth, although the brain continues to grow until we are in our early 20s. At birth, our brain is around 12% of our body weight and it drops to 2% of our body weight by our late teens.
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