The human skeleton is an awe-inspiring marvel - it supports your entire body weight, protects delicate organs, helps you take a step, and keeps you upright. That's why we've put together this list of six cool facts about the human skeleton.
1. Some people don't have 206 bones
Not everyone has exactly 206 bones in their body. Some people have as few as 180 bones, which is still enough to keep them alive and kicking.
Did you know that some people might even have 300 bones? Medical professionals refer to these individuals as Polydactylism, which means they have more than five fingers or toes on each hand or foot.
2. Your skeleton is constantly changing in height
Your skeleton is constantly on the go, growing at different rates depending on your age. Our bones stop growing once we reach adulthood, but this doesn't mean our skeletons stop changing altogether.
Your muscles and other soft tissues continue to grow as you age, putting pressure on your bones. As a result, your joints begin to shrink, and along with that, so does your height. It makes sense that your height would start to decrease as your joints shrink as you get older.
3. The hyoid bone is the only bone not connected to other bones
The hyoid bone is the only bone that isn't connected to any other bones in your body. Its job is to support your tongue, larynx, and epiglottis. The average length of this little guy is about seven millimeters.
It's one of the smallest bones in your body - it's so tiny that most people aren't even aware they have one. Unfortunately, though, that doesn't mean that your hyoid bone isn't super important.
4. Some important stuff happens inside your bone marrow
A lot is going on inside your bones, so it's a good idea to know what they all mean. The bone marrow located inside our bones is filled with fat stem cells and blood-forming tissue.
This area of the bone is responsible for turning white blood cells into red blood cells. These cells then circulate in our bloodstream and deliver oxygen to our organs.
Also, the stem cells that live inside this bone marrow are essential to keeping our bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. They repair damage and even create new cells and tissues.
5. The smallest bones in the human body are in the ears
The ossicles are the smallest bones in the human body. They are also known as the hammer, anvil, and stirrup. These super small bones are located in your middle and inner ear, and they transmit sound vibrations into nerve impulses that we can then hear.
6. Osteocalcin is a key ingredient in producing stress
Osteocalcin is a hormone released during bone-forming stages. It's believed to be similar to adrenaline in the fight or flight aspects of our personality. Not a lot is known about osteocalcin, but it seems promising in helping us understand how we react to stressful situations.
The human skeleton is an awe-inspiring wonder. Anyone who has ever seen a museum display of a mummified skeleton knows the skeleton's important role in our everyday life.
Our bones give us the strength to walk, run, swim, and even play the piano. They help us take a step, and they can even protect vital organs.
It's no wonder that we take our skeletons for granted, but it's also fascinating that they have been around since the beginnings of human evolution.