Interesting Facts About Your Lungs
Human Beings could not survive without our lungs because they are the bedrock on which proper breathing and respiratory functions are based. Breathing is a part of our normal body functions and it is habitual to a point where we do not even pay attention to or keep track of our inhalation and exhalation. It is so universal and spontaneous, done by every living creature that could not be alive without the proper functioning of our lungs that breathing goes unnoticed.
The continuous replacement of hot stale air with clean fresh air is made possible through the respiratory systems via the lungs. The fact is that the human nose is medium of exchange between atmospheric air and the filtering of unwanted substances from the body thus the main function of respiration is performed by the lungs. The following are some other interesting facts about the lungs:
- Human beings have lungs which are the organs directly responsible for respiration. Respiration is separate and apart from breathing. It is evident that breathing involves the act of oxygen inhalation and carbon dioxide exhalation accomplished via the nose/nostrils. Additionally, oxygen is broken down and used by the body cells to create energy through the process of breathing. So the amazing fact is that breathing is made possible through our lungs which serve to process oxygen. Thus, without breathing oxygen cannot enter our body.
- Another interesting fact is that the body does not have one but two lungs which are namely the right lung and the left lung. The actual weight of both lungs is 2.9 pounds of 1.3 kilograms. The fact also remains that the left lung is lighter than the right lung.
- Another fact is that the left lung has two lobes and is slightly smaller than the right lung. The right lung on the other hand has three lobes.
- It is also interesting to know that that the structure of left lung differs slightly from the structure of right lung (apart from the difference in the number of lobes). The left lung contains a ‘cardiac notch’. The cardiac notch is a small place designed to accommodate the heart.
- It is amazing how the total length of the airways running through the two lungs is 1,500 miles or 2,400 kilometers.
- The two lungs together contain 300 to 500 million alveoli. What are alveoli? They are tiny and spongy air sacks no thicker than a typical cell (remember that you cannot really see an individual human cell without the help of a powerful microscope) which usually measures 10 micro meters or 10 µm which is actually 10-5 These alveoli are present at the end of the smallest of airways and are the true sites of carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange.
- Scientists estimate that the total internal surface area of lungs in adult humans vary between 30-50 sq. meters and 70-10 sq. meters. Converting the numbers into more intelligible format, the total internal surface is estimated to be equal to the total area of one side of a tennis court.
- The alveoli in lungs are surrounded by capillaries. Capillaries are actually blood vessels which are the smallest of blood vessels in human body. Scientists say that if all capillaries surrounding the alveoli are unwound and placed end to end, they will cover a staggering 616 miles or 992 kilometers.
- Human lungs, just like the heart, are protected by the rib cage in chest. The lungs are connected to the spinal cord and the chest bone (or sternum).
- When humans breathe in or inhale, the lungs expand. This expansion is possible only when diaphragm squeezes. The diaphragm is actually a small dome-shaped muscles seated right below the lungs. If the diaphragm malfunctions, one will experience breathing difficulties.