Strange Body Facts You’ve Always Wondered About
1.Do feet really get bigger with age?
It’s certainly possible: After years of wear and tear, tendons and ligaments in your feet may weaken. This can cause arches to flatten, which means feet get wider and longer. It won’t happen to everyone, though—people who are overweight, who get swollen feet or ankles, or who have certain medical conditions, like diabetes, are more prone. If it does happen, the average gain is about one shoe size by age 70 or 80.
2.How come women always seem colder than men?
The fairer sex has a higher percentage of body fat and conserves more heat around the core. That helps keep vital organs nice and toasty but not the extremities—and when your hands and feet feel cold, so does the rest of your body. Plus, research suggests that women have a lower threshold for cold than men. When exposed to the same freezing temperature, the blood vessels in women’s fingers constrict more than men’s do, which is why they turn white more quickly.
3.Is “old-person smell” real?
Yes. But there’s also a distinctive middle-aged-person smell and a young-person smell, according to a recent study. The research found that older people have a less intense—and more pleasant—scent than the middle-aged folk and young whippersnappers. Not what you expected, right?
4.Why do we have fingerprints?
Many experts think it’s to improve grip, but a British study from a few years back suggests otherwise. Researchers found that a fingerprint’s ridges actually made it harder to hold flat, smooth surfaces, like Plexiglas, because they reduced the skin’s contact area. Instead, they think our prints might help wick water off our fingertips or allow our skin to stretch more easily, which can protect it from damage and help prevent blisters. Other scientists have suggested fingerprints could improve our sense of touch. What we do know for sure is that no two people’s fingerprints are the same, even among identical twins.
5.What makes my stomach growl?
It can be the sound of your digestive juices churning and stomach muscles contracting as they get prepped for food. To avoid those often poorly timed and embarrassing sounds, eat smaller meals more frequently.
6.Why does armpit sweat smell worse than sweat from other places?
Your body has two kinds of sweat glands. Most of those on your arms and legs secrete a mix of water and salt. But the glands in your armpits (as well as your groin) release an oily substance, which bacteria love. It’s actually the bacteria eating the oil that releases the telltale stench.