7 Interesting Facts About Human Bones
Your body has 206 bones, and these bones join together at joints to make up your skeleton. They help to give your body a good structure, support your body in weight bearing, helps you walk or run around, and protects your internal organs from damage.
These are just a few benefits we derive from having these strong and hard masses in our bodies. Now, in this article, we’ll be looking at 7 interesting facts you probably didn’t know about the bones in your body. You should have learned a few new things by the end of this post that will help you understand your body better.
1. Bones contain 10-20% water
Despite how hard and strong they look, they actually contain a significant amount of water. Our long bones typically have two distinct parts:
- The outer hard section
- The inner spongy section
The outer hard section is also known as compact bone, it is usually dense while the inner spongy section (also known as cancellous bone) looks like a honeycomb and is much less dense.
The composition of the human bone is as follows:
- Bone mineral- 60-70%
- Water- 10-20%
The remaining part is made up of proteins and cells.
2. More than 50% of your bones are found in your hands and feet
Out of the 206 bones in your body, about 106 of them are found in your hands and feet. Each hand contains 27 bones, while each foot contains 26 bones. This may be a little surprising because of how small these parts seem to be when compared to the rest of our bodies.
Our hands need that many bones to help us carry out so many functions. The hands are extremely versatile and with the aid of these many bones, can carry out complex tasks like buttoning a shirt, using hand tools, grabbing things, writing and typing.
Our feet help to transfer our body weight to the ground. So, they play a very important role in maintaining our balance when we stand, walk, run or jump. The many bones it contains helps it carry out these functions easily.
3. Babies have more bones than adults
Babies are extra special, their unique body configuration is perfectly suited for their rapid growth in weight and length. Newborns are born with 300 bones, while adults have 206.
The reason for this is simple, some of our bones fuse together, hence, ‘decreasing’ the number of bones we have in our bodies. A common place this happens is the skull.
When a baby is born, the skull bones aren’t exactly fused together to accommodate the rapidly growing brain. With time, these bones join together at joints we call sutures. The obvious gaps found around the front and back of the heads of newborns are called fontanelles.
4. Most of your blood cells are made in your long bones
When you think of a bone, the last thing you probably think about is that there is manufacturing going on in it. But the truth is that many of the cells that swim in your blood are made in bones. The bone marrow serves as the site for the manufacture of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
This is why people who have chronic diseases that affect blood cells like sickle cell anemia and leukemia could benefit from bone marrow transplants.
5. The largest and smallest bones in your body are your femur and stapes.
You will likely be familiar with the name ‘femur’. It is your thigh bone, very large, strong, and hard. It helps to transmit the weight of your body to your knees. It is so hard that it is estimated to be harder than concrete. However, severe forces like those released during falls from heights or road traffic accidents can cause it to fracture or even dislocate the joint it forms with leg bones. Fractures and dislocations can cause severe pain in bones and joints.
The smallest bone in your body is a tiny bone called stapes. This bone is found in your middle ear. It is part of a set of three bones in each ear collectively called ossicles. They help in the transmission of sound vibrations to the inner ear for you to be able to hear sounds.
6. They do not form scars when healing
When a bone is broken, it starts the process of uniting. Unlike other tissues like skin that heal by forming scars, bones do not go through this process. Rather, depending on the bone involved, the broken ends grow directly towards each other and merge or join by forming a soft tissue healing bridge called a ‘callus’.
One important factor that is needed for good bone healing is immobilization. This is why bones are often operated on or casts are applied to ensure that the broken ends can heal in a fairly stable environment. People who are recovering from bone surgery are also advised to use equipment like crutches, stair lifts, walkers, and scooters to avoid disturbing the healing process.
7. You have a ‘floating bone’
As we have earlier mentioned, bones are connected to each other at joints which could contain ligaments, tendons, and a lubricating synovial fluid. But is there any bone that completely stands alone, without being joined to any other one?
Well, yes there is. Your hyoid bone which is found in the front of your neck near your thyroid gland and voice box is not connected to any other bone, rather it serves as an attachment point for several muscles that are associated with the floor of your mouth, voice box, and upper throat.
Guest post by Dr. Charles-Davies OA of 25 Doctors, a web-platform for doctor consultations.