10 Surprising Facts about the Human Heart
What an amazing organ the human heart is. It serves as a vital part of the circulatory system of the body. The Heart continues to beat for decades and it keeps nutrient-bearing blood pumping into all the tiniest little cells of the body. The heart is crucial to our survival so it’s an organ that we need to make sure that we take extra special care of. Here are 10 surprising facts about human hearts that you may be interested in knowing about.
1. Your heart is fist-sized
While this isn’t always precise, in most cases, an adult has a heart that is the size of their fist. In case you’ve been wondering how much room in your chest this vital organ is taking up, all you need to do is double up your hand and make a fist and place it over your chest. This will give you an idea of the size of your own heart.
2. A human heart pumps thousands of gallons of blood each day
The heart of an adult pumps approximately two thousand gallons of blood on a daily basis. While this may sound like a lot, here’s something to consider. Your heart is responsible for pumping enough blood to bathe every cell in every organ of your body. You can think of it as being similar to an irrigation system. The precious liquid to keep flowing in order to nourish each individual cell and at the same time, it must maintain the proper flow, so clots don’t form.
3. Your heart has an electrical system
Here’s a fun fact about the human heart that many people are not aware of. There is an electrical system within the human body that controls the rhythm and beat of your heart. When there are disruptions in that system, your heart can’t beat efficiently and this is something that has been known to happen. The name for the electrical system that controls your heart’s rhythm is called the cardiac conduction system. This is one of the reasons that using defibrillators can be beneficial in stimulating the heart to beat again.
4. Researchers found evidence of heart disease from antiquity
We’ve come so far in our ability to use technology to investigate the mysteries of the past. Recently, scientists performed testing on an Egyptian mummy. Through advanced scientific equipment, they found evidence of heart disease in the preserved corpse of the 3,500-year-old mummy. This is proof that heart disease has been around for thousands of years.
5. Your valves make a noise
The valves in your heart make a noise that you can actually hear. When you’re listening to the sound of your own heartbeat, you’re hearing the opening and closing of the valves. It’s true! This is perfectly normal.
6. A broken heart is a real medical condition
We’ve all heard the saying, “she has a broken heart” or “he died of a broken heart,” and while most of us have been raised to believe that this is just a saying, it actually has relevance in medical science. It is possible to truly have a physically broken heart and the condition is known as broken heart syndrome. The condition can present as the symptoms of a heart attack, but the difference between the two is that a broken heart is caused by a supply of stress hormones, grief or emotional/physical stress. A heart attack is caused by heart disease.
7. There is a physical difference between a man and a woman’s heart
On average, most human hearts have a total weight of less than a pound at maturity. An adult male heart averages about 2 ounces more in weight than a woman’s. Another difference is that a woman’s heart usually beats a little faster than males. Also, heart attack symptoms are different in men and women.
8. Your heart impacts all parts of your body
The heart has a profound impact upon every cell in the human body. Because of the blood that is pumped, it keeps all of your cells nourished not only with nutrients but also with the oxygen necessary to keep your cells healthy and alive.
9. Your heart can live without the body but it’s not mutual
Here’s another surprising fact about the human heart. The heart can continue to beat even when it has been disconnected from the human body. Of course, it won’t keep beating for long.
10. Your heart beats thousands of times a day
The human heart is an amazing muscle that continues to beat away day and night without taking a break. This is a good thing because if your heart stops beating for long, you die. On average, the human heart beats about 115,000 times every day.