Humans have always been fascinated by the primary machine that sustains life: the Heart.
Sure, we haven’t always known what it does or how it works, but it’s impossible to ignore its ever-present beat. In fact, it’s difficult to ignore even the sound once you’ve tuned in. It’s fortunate that we do manage to ignore those rhythmic beats, because consciously listening to a few billion lub-dubs over the course of a lifetime would drive us batty.
If you look at your closed fist, you will see fairly accurately exactly the size of your heart.
But do you know that most people don’t know much else about the heart except that it pumps blood?
Here are 16 facts about the human heart that you probably didn’t know.
- The average adult heart beats 72 times a minute; 100,000 times a day; 3,600,000 times a year; and about 2.5 billion times during a lifetime.
- Though weighing only 11 ounces on average, a healthy heart pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of blood vessels each day.
- A kitchen faucet would need to be turned on all the way for at least 45 years to equal the amount of blood pumped by the heart in an average lifetime.
- Prolonged snoring can enlarge the heart.
- Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is the equivalent to driving to the moon and back.
- Because the heart has its own electrical impulse, it can continue to beat even when separated from the body, as long as it has an adequate supply of oxygen.
- French physician Rene Laennec (1781-1826) invented the stethoscope when he felt it was inappropriate to place his ear on his large-buxomed female patients’ chests.
- The fetal heart rate is approximately twice as fast as an adult’s, at about 150 beats per minute. By the time a fetus is 12 weeks old, it’s heart pumps an amazing 60 pints of blood a day.
- Men who are having an/or affair(s) are more likely to die of cardiac arrest during sex.
- During an average lifetime, the heart will pump nearly 1.5 million barrels of blood—enough to fill 200 train tank cars.
- Strong emotions and stress can literally break a person’s heart. This condition is called “takotsubo’s cardiomyopathy” or “broken heart syndrome.” It primarily affects postmenopausal women.
- The “thump-thump” of a heartbeat is the sound made by the four valves of the heart closing.
- A woman’s heart typically beats faster than a man’s. The heart of an average man beats approximately 70 times a minute, whereas the average woman has a heart rate of 78 beats per minute.
- The heart begins beating at four weeks after conception and does not stop until death.
- The human heart is not on the left-hand side of the body; it’s in the middle
- A newborn baby has about one cup of blood in circulation. An adult human has about four to five quarts which the heart pumps to all the tissues and to and from the lungs in about one minute while beating 75 times.