They are unavoidable. They are persistent. They are simply undesired. Yet, they are part of our own body system – our various body secretions. From the saliva of our mouths to the sweat on our skin, we have been aware of these secretions occurring constantly our whole lives. Amazingly, as gross as it may sound, many of us tend to be obsessed with some of them, knowingly or unknowingly. Read on to find out the top ten facts about all that our body emits and discharges – up, close and personal.
10. Snot Could Kill Us All
There is more to snot and phlegm, politely called nasal mucus, than it seems. A combination of water, protein, carbohydrates, and other cells, nasal mucus protects our respiratory system, in its healthy avatar. But one single virus can turn it into an ugly, murderous monster.
An average sneeze, brought upon by an allergy or a virus, launches a microbes-laden mucus missile at speeds of up to 100 miles an hour. Add to it the fact that a runny nose secretes 4 tablespoons of mucus per hour, and you realize what makes the cold so common. This discharge of nasal mucus, through influenza, has wiped out millions of people in the past. And scientists fear that only a single sneeze of a deadly mutated virus might trigger the next fatal pandemic.
9. Sweat Doesn’t Smell Like Anything
Believe it or not, human sweat is 100% odorless! It’s just a simple mixture of water and certain chemicals. What makes it stink is the bacteria on our skin that feeds on this secretion.
Only three areas in our body can escape this process of perspiration – lips, nipples, and external genital organs. Barring these spots, the entire body is a massive sweat factory, covered with innumerable sweat glands. Most of these glands however, are missing in children, who acquire them only with puberty. And then things begin to change with the addition of sex hormones, making men sweat 40% more than women.
8. Vomit Turns Some People On
The mere thought of that endless stream of undigested food swimming down the toilet can make us retch and puke. But, surprisingly, there are actually some people who have a vomit fetish called “emetophilia”. More fondly called a Roman Shower by its addicts, a bout of vomit can be a visual feast that titillates and teases.
7. Saliva Contains Tons Of Antibodies
Now here is a secretion that our body produces all the time, but we only realize its presence when it’s being over produced. An average person can produce up to 1.5 liters of saliva in a day. This super fluid is a healthy combination of water, enzymes and anti-bodies. It keeps our mouth moist and clean, prevents tooth decay, and helps in breaking down food. It is actually 99.5% water, while the rest are enzymes and anti-bodies. And when the manufacturing slows down when we sleep, a full frontal microbe-attack is unleashed, making us wake up with that notorious morning breath.
This harmless secretion has now attracted a lot of medical attention. It holds the key to whatever is going on in the body – toxicity, disease and infections. Saliva has become an important forensic tool in sex and drug crime investigations.
6. Ear Wax Cleans Your Ears
First of all, it’s not wax! Ear wax is a mixture of secretion from the sweat glands of the ear and hair, some chemicals, and dead skin. It forms on the outer surface of the ear canal and, from there, it gradually moves towards the outer ridges and dries up eventually. This process generally takes about a month on an average basis. The common habit of using cotton swabs to “clean” one’s ears is considered a strict no-no, because dried-up ear wax already keeps the ears clean and protected.
5. Tears Keep Our Eyes Healthy
Boys don’t cry? Well, they still have tears at least. We all do.
It is a secretion, comprised of water and minerals, that keep our eyes lubricated and protects us from infection. Excess secretion generally happens in two cases; either as a reflex from irritants (like tear gas, onions, dust, etc.,) or due to experiencing an emotion which our nerves sense. The emotional tears contain protein-based hormones and chemicals, which have a natural healing effect. No wonder why crying makes us feel better after a sudden emotional outburst.
4. Pus Protects Us From Infection
Pus is formed by our body’s immunity system, as a way to prevent an infection. The fluid consists of white blood cells, dead body cells and tissues. If it appears on the skin, it becomes a pimple; if beneath the skin in an enclosed space, it’s an abscess. Since it’s there for a reason, think twice before you pop that pimple on your face. Generally, it is advised to clean the pus instead, as directed by the doctor, to get rid of it.
3. Urine Is Totally Drinkable
Many might have gagged after seeing actor James Franco drinking his own urine for survival in the movie 127 hours. But, believe it or not, urophagia is, in fact, advocated in some parts of the world. British actor Sarah Miles, former prime-minister of India Morarji Desai, and martial arts fighter Lyoto Machida are some celebrities who have gone public with their urine health therapy.
2. Farts Are Flammable
Farts are a gaseous secretion of our intestines through the rectum. The presence of methane & hydrogen makes it flammable, giving birth to a popular ritual, “lighting a fart.” The volunteers simply place a lighter near their buttocks, let a fart rip, and then BOOM! Many farting contests (which often include heavy drinking) are also held and popularized by youths everywhere.
1. Semen Is Filled With Protein
With the same levels of protein as a boiled egg white, along with vitamin C, calcium and 30 other constituents, semen might appear to be a multi-vitamin supplement. More research is required, though, before it can be packaged and sold as pills. Regardless, semen is already available as a face pack, touting its anti-aging benefits.
Written By Simmi Mankani