Our bodies are quite fascinating and complex, and although we are aware of actions like breathing or physical responses like sweating when its hot, a lot more is happening that we aren't even aware of. There are plenty of super weird and interesting things you didn't realize your body does, and knowing what's happening beyond our awareness can help you truly appreciate your body and its functions. They may sound bizarre, but they serve a particular purpose, and even if you can't do much to control what's happening, it's still pretty awesome to know what our bodies are capable of.
You might know that your heart leaps when you see someone you like, or that you get anxious when you confront one of your fears, but so much more can go in your body that affects you both physically and mentally, in ways that you likely have never even imagined.
If you were hoping to learn a thing or two about all the strange events that occur within your different systems, check out these seven super weird and fascinating things you didn't realize your body does — you might not think of your organs in the same way ever again.
1It Spring Cleans Its Own Cells
Your body has its own "spring-cleaning" mechanism, also known as autophagy (literally, self-eating). This process gets rid of dead, diseased, or worn-out cells and recycles some molecules for energy or new cell parts, according to Greatist. You can encourage autophagy by exercising more, lowering your carb intake, and participating in intermittent fasting.
2It Can Paralyze Itself During Sleep
If you've ever experienced sleep paralysis, you've gotten a taste of what it's like for your body to shut down movement during REM sleep. "During dreams, the brain is able to paralyze the body so as to prevent us from acting them out," says Dr. Robert Pascuzzi, neurologist at IU Health Neuroscience Center, over email.
3It Communicates Emotions Through Your Gut
It sounds crazy, but there's a strong connection between the gut and your brain. "The gut has more neurons than the spinal cord," says Dr. Ashley Gilmore, gastroenterologist and director for the Bariatric Medical Weight Loss Program at IU Health over email. "The communication between the brain and the gut is bidirectional through the brain gut axis. The gut can send the brain emotional signals as well as signals involving sensation." This is why you can get a stomach ache from something like stress or you can become depressed from the way you are eating.
4It Experiences Taste Through Your Nose
There's a reason pizza tastes so good after you get a big whiff. "Most people do not know that wonderful richness and diversity of flavors of foods is provided by the nose," says Dr. Erich Voigt, clinical associate professor in the Department of Otolaryngology at NYU Langone Health, over email. "The olfactory nerve runs along the base of the brain at the roof of the nasal cavity, and if the nose is blocked by nasal polyps or swelling from a virus. the individual may lose their sense of taste."
5Your Eyes Can Seal Off To Become Water Tight
"You have a very tight muscle at the edge of your eyelid, which works to seal off your eye to protect it from irritants like liquids, dust, and any other materials that don’t belong in the eye (soap, sea water, etc.)," says Dr. Howard Purcell, F.A.A.O, Senior Vice President of Customer Development, Essilor of America, over email. "This muscle can be influenced by stress and fatigue, which can result in your eyelid twitching."
6Your Joints Can Predict The Weather
It might sound like an old wives' tale, but stiff joints can indicate impending bad weather. Changes in air pressure are responsible for the pain many feel in their joints prior to a storm or weather shift, as major joints' sensory nerve endings are sensitive to barometric pressure, according to WebMD.,
7Your Eyes Dilate When You're Attracted To Someone
If you're trying to hide your emotions from someone, let's hope they don't look into your eyes: Your pupils dilate when you're in love with someone or attracted to someone, thanks to your sympathetic nervous system, according to Woman's Day.