What’s up with your body? How does it feel? Do you know the kind of things happening inside your body right now? While the processes that your body is going through as your read this aren’t exactly unspeakable, they are kind of gross. The creepy things about your body are abundant, and apply to every organ, internal and external. If you’ve ever stood in front of a full length mirror and wondered what was happening under your skin, get ready to find out. But be warned, you’re going to be at least a little grossed out.
The weird things that happen in your body range from predictably disgusting things like waste discharge, to the nightmare-inducing information that when you sleep your body is at constant war with itself to keep you alive. The human body is a vast ecosystem of complicated organs and processes that scientists are still trying to understand. Aside from all the ways our bodies have to pump and gurgle to keep us alive, there are just some simple gross facts about what we are.
If you weren’t worried about rotting from the inside out, you will be momentarily. That, or you’ll want to touch your own brain and see if it feels as much like butter as everyone says it does.
Your Brain Is Squishy and Soft Like Butter
If you’re like most people, you probably think that a brain feels like a handful of wet clay, or maybe a bunch of wet gummy bears stuck together. That actually couldn’t be further from the truth; brains feel way more disgusting than wet clay. Your brain is actually a super squishy mass of matter that’s more tender than “most of the meat you would see in a market.” You’re basically walking around with a big glob of warm butter jammed into your skull, so be careful with it.
Your Fingernails Are Always Growing
You’ve been living with your fingernails long enough that you’re used to their behavior. They come, they go, and they’re always growing – those little clear bones that are squeezing themselves out of your body right this very second. Your fingernails grow about one-tenth of an inch a month, which isn’t a lot, but when you think about the fact that they’re always sliding out of your fingers, even when you’re asleep, it’s kind of like you’re living in a walking nightmare.
Your Gut Flora Are in There, Living Their Own Lives All Day Long
Sorry to break this to you, but your intestines are full of microbial bacteria that begin growing about two years after your birth. Most of the bacteria, or gut flora, ferments dietary fiber into short-chain fatty acids that provide energy for your colonic cells and other fun parts of your body. And that’s not all! If you were to magically zap all of the intestinal bacteria out of your body, it would be like losing an internal organ and you would stop metabolizing vitamins B and K. The next time you’re having a really good digestion day remember to thank your gut flora.
You’re a Pile of Dead Skin
You know that giant organ that’s covering all the bones and goo that make you you? Skin, flesh, human orange peel, whatever you want to call it. By the time you see it, it’s already dead or dying and falling away from you like snow from winter clouds. We shed 8.8 pounds of skin every year, which is more than some small dogs weigh. It’s genuinely weird that our faces don’t look like they’re caked in foundation by the end of the day. Over the course of a year that might not sound like much, but imagine shedding all that skin weight in one go!
When You Die Your Blood Goes to Purgatory
What’s up with blood, right? It pumps out of our hearts and flows through our bodies, but what happens to it all when we die? Does it leak out of our pores, or do we instinctively spew it at the first EMT we see? The answer is much more gross. When our hearts stop beating and our lungs take their last breaths, our blood begins hypostasis, or suggillation. What the heck is that, you ask? It’s when your blood settles in the lower portion of the body, causing a purplish red discoloration of the skin. That’s right, your body is turned into a blood-filled piñata.
Your Bones Are Always Growing
Even though most of your body’s bone growth stops after puberty, that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop when you’re an adult. All your delicious bones are constantly recycling themselves in order remain nice and sturdy for your morning jog. According to Dr. Peter Selby, an osteoporosis expert based at Manchester Royal Infirmary, your bones are about 10 years old, depending on where they are in their bone cycle (a very real thing that doesn’t sound funny at all). Old bone is broken down by cells called osteoclasts and replaced by bone-building cells known as osteoblasts, and when you hit middle age your bones begin to thin out; that’s when osteoporosis sets in. It’s the circle of bone.
Your Mouth Is Making Spit Right This Second
How much spit would you say your mouth produces each day? If you guessed two to four pints (or alternatively, “a small bucketsworth”) then you would be right. As gross as it is, we need saliva to take care of a bunch of annoying mouth tasks for us. Salvia works hard to help us swallow food, break down enzymes, and fight off infections in our mouths. Without a constant mouthful of spit people wouldn’t be able to eat tortilla chips, and we’d probably all have the dreaded “fuzzy tongue.”
Rheum Is Trying to Grow Over Your Eyeballs
Your body is doing so many gross things while you sleep that it’s impossible to list them all. When you’re awake and blinking your eyes, discharge and oily liquid helps clean your eyes and your tears wash it away. While you’re asleep it pulls double duty: It captures all of the mucus, oil, skin cells, and other debris and forms it into a crunchy substance called rheum. That sleep in your eyes when you wake up is all of the junk that your body makes all day long that you don’t notice because you’re busy checking Facebook and hopefully cleaning your face. Long live rheum.
Your Kidneys Are Turning Everything You Drink Into Urine
Have you ever put much thought into the fact that every thing you drink is simply pre-urine? Whenever you drink a refreshing pineapple Jarritos, it’s only a matter of time before the sugary drink passes into your kidneys where whatever’s left of it is further filtered out in order to be sent to your bladder for a bathroom break. When we think of the kidneys as a filter, that’s actually wrong. They’re millions of little filters, sopping up all the liquid you drink and flushing it out through even smaller tubules. One might say they’re the hardest working – and grossest – organs in your body.
Your Body Is Constantly Making Waste
Face it, humans are disgusting. Our bodies spend most of the day creating waste out of all the stuff we gobble up. It doesn’t matter if you wolfed down a gordita at Fourthmeal or made yourself a kale salad from your garden, it’s nothing but a clay-like waste when your body is finished with it.
In the most basic sense, after you eat lunch or whatever, your large intestine strains all the healthy bits out of your food and squishes the rest of it out of your colon into your rectum where the waste hardens into a clay-like discharge and waits until you head to the restroom. Aside from your colon’s big day, the fact that your kidneys are always working over time to cleans you of whatever liquid garbage you ingest, it’s a wonder we all aren’t hiding in bathroom stalls all day long.
Little Bugs Crawl All Over Your Body All Day Long
Hey everybody, don’t freak out but your body is quite possibly crawling with tiny mites that are eating all the detritus off of your skin. You’re probably having a minor panic attack right now and that’s okay, but just realize that these almost invisible creepy crawlies that are weaving their way through your eyelids only want to eat the oil and other fun goop that ends up on your face.
Mites generally work nights; that’s when they feast, and when they breed. Oh yeah, they have little mite families that live on your bodies and munch on the rheum around your eyes. If you have too many mites you’ll probably notice some inflammation around your eyes, but after a couple of weeks the mites die out and it’s kind of like you watched an entire civilization die. How does it feel to be a god?
Mucus Lubricates Your Entire Body
Where would you be without mucus? Probably in the hospital because mucus is the first line of defense against sickness. That’s right, all that oozing yellow-greenish stuff is actually doing its best to keep the walls of your mucus membranes moist. If it wasn’t doing that your cells would dry out and crack, allowing harmful substances to enter your body. William Schaffner, M.D., professor of medicine and infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine says to think of mucus as “a liquid blanket that covers the sensitive mucus membranes.” Um… sure.
There’s a Bacterial Fight Happening Inside Your Ears
Earwax: there isn’t a better feeling than when you shove a pillowy cotton swab down into your ear canal to scoop it all up, but it might actually be a bad thing that it feels so good. We think of earwax as a thing that needs to be constantly cleaned, or turned into disgusting candles, but earwax is busy fighting off a wide range of bacteria on your behalf, including Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, and many variants of Escherichia coli. When fungi tries to grow in your ears, the wax puts the kibosh on it and keeps your canals open and ready for whatever Kanye has for us next.