You may think of your skeleton as just your body’s scaffolding, but your bones do a lot more than define your human shape. Your bones manufacture blood-cells, and regulate your internal system. And they keep your brain, heart, and lungs safe!
Your bones might be your best friend… If only they could tell jokes.
Did you know the funny bone isn’t really a bone? Or that you’re exposing your skeleton every time you laugh, smile, or scream? How well do you really know your body if it changes every 10 years?
Your skeleton is the reason why you can breathe, stand, lift, run, and survive a football game – or disease. Aside from providing the internal framework for the body, our skeletons perform critical functions for our survival.
- Red and white blood cells, for example, are born in bone marrow. Red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, while white blood cells attack infected cells and fight viruses and bacteria. But balancing all these vital responsibilities is no easy task, which is why the skeletal system is comprised of so many bones.
- But right at this moment, you yourself are either losing some of those bones, or have lost them already… Can you guess why? Every human is born with nearly 300 bones in their body. But by the time we die, we only have about 206. That’s because a baby requires a malleable bone structure and more cartilage elements to ease its passage through the birth canal. After it is born, a child’s bones will fuse together, and transform cartilage into bone. This process is called ossification, it begins 13 weeks after conception and lasts until your 20s.
- A lifelong process, however, is bone regeneration. That’s right, humans are self-healing. Our bones regenerate to store and supply our bodies with calcium, and also to keep our bodies strong and flexible. It takes about 10 years for all the cells that make up your bones to regenerate. So if you think about it, you’re getting a new body every decade.
- Before you get too excited, you should know that your teeth are one part of your skeleton that doesn’t regenerate, so listen to your dentist and keep brushing twice a day! And floss. Why aren’t you flossing more?
- It’s easy to count how many teeth you have, but can you guess how many bones are in your hand? Including your wrist, the answer is 54. Which means that your two hands account for half of all the bones in your body. Your feet make up for a quarter of your bones, with 26 in each foot.
- While some of these facts may sound incredible, you’d better believe your ears, because your bones are what give you the ability to hear!The 2.5mm wide stapes bone is the smallest in your body, but has the important job of conducting sound vibrations to the inner ear. Allowing you to hear music and laughter.
- But regardless of hearing or humor, no one is laughing at the funny bone. Because it’s not all that funny – and it’s not even a bone. That tingly feeling you get when you whack your elbow on something actually comes from the ulnar nerve, which is the largest unprotected nerve in your body, and ironically, sits below the upper arm bone called, the humerus.
See? Skeletons don’t have to be scary all the time. For all the serious work that they do, they know how to release some tension – mostly by supplying our tissue with calcium. But you can play a part too. Eat well, and get lots of exercise.Sources