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Updated on Jun 8, 2020. Posted on Apr 26, 2020

19 Deeply Disturbing Facts About Your Body That Get More Worrying The More You Think About Them

You'll never be able to hear the phrase "brain worms" again after this.

1. It's possible – not common, but possible – to grow teeth in your ovaries.

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This type of tumour is called a teratoma, and "hair follicles, skin glands, muscle, and other tissues lie within (its) wall". Yep, that's a no from me, thanks very much.

2. Some people lactate through the skin of their armpit after giving birth.

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"Ectopic axillary breast tissue" is where breasts stretch out beyond their usual boundaries, often expanding sideways into the armpit. Pregnancy doesn't cause this, but lactation can make it show up – some people find that milk travels to their 'pits when they're breastfeeding, and others even end up lactating from the pores underneath their arms.

3. Period cramps are essentially your womb suffocating itself, and honestly? I'm disgusted, but not surprised.

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To get the uterine lining out of your womb during your period, your uterus has to contract. Sometimes, when the contractions are stronger, your womb squeezes its blood vessels so tight that oxygen can't reach them, which sends pain signals to your brain (ouch). But wait, there's more – this process increases your production of chemicals called prostaglandins, which encourage more contractions of the uterus. There really is no mercy.

4. Because your brain has no pain receptors, brain surgery is sometimes performed while the patient is awake (and often even talking).

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It sounds like something from a horror film, but keeping the patient awake and responsive during brain surgery can actually be a much safer way to operate because the surgeons can ensure they're not causing any significant damage. Still, it's a pretty scary thought.

5. When you feel your heart in your mouth on a rollercoaster, it's not just your imagination – your organs actually are moving around.

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Your entire body responds to the G-force on a rollercoaster, and yes, that does include your insides (yuck). If it's any consolation, though, at least this level of movement won't affect your health!

6. There is probably more bacteria in your mouth right now than there are people in your country.

Viktoria Ovcharenko / Getty Images

Unless you live in China or India, it's unlikely the population of your home country outnumbers the billion or so bacteria that are hanging out in your mouth at any given time.

7. In fact, you yourself are more bacteria than you are human – at least if we're talking about cells here.

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The bacterial cells in your body outnumber your human cells significantly. In fact, scientists once thought that ratio was about 10 to one in favour of bacteria, but more recent research has found that's it's likely to "only" be 39 trillion bacteria compared to 30 trillion human cells. Better, but not exactly reassuring, folks.

8. You produce enough saliva in your lifetime to fill two swimming pools.

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Plus, saliva varies so much from person to person that each pool would have a completely different consistency to the others (but they'd all be equally disgusting).

9. When your cheeks blush, so does the lining of your stomach.

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This works because when you're embarrassed, your body releases adrenaline (AKA the "fight or flight" hormone) which dilates your blood vessels so you'll get more oxygen. This makes your cheeks and your stomach lining temporarily redder thanks to the extra blood (gross, but also kind of cute?!).

10. A large percentage of the dust around your home is made up of old skin flakes, and when you consider that you lose about 50 million cells a day, that's not all that surprising.

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You lose the entire outer layer of your skin in about two to four weeks, so it kind of makes sense that those cells end up somewhere – it's just a bit icky realising that it becomes the dust in your home. It's not all bad, though – researchers think the squalene in old skin cells might actually help to purify your air!

11. Hate to have to tell you this, but there are probably mites living in your eyelashes right now.

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Two types of Demodex mites – Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis – populate your lashes. They live off of the dead skin cells in the tiny hairs and while normal levels of the crittters are harmless, they're still, you know, there.

12. You transfer more germs by shaking hands than you do by kissing, because yes, hands are that gross.

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Your hands are filled with crevices that bacteria nestle into, and they touch more surfaces than your mouth does, too. Research has found that shaking hands is a much better way to spread germs than kissing is! (Though if you want to avoid other peoples' germs altogether, doing neither is always a good option).

13. The anus is the first part of your body to develop in the womb.

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Brace yourself for some science here! Animals are either protostomes or deuterostomes – the first kind develops the mouth first, but in case you haven't guessed, we're the second kind. That means we develop (I'm so sorry) anus-first.

14. The fitter you are, the sooner you might start sweating during exercise, so don't feel bad if you're drenched after a workout.

Ridofranz / Getty Images

Sweating works to cool you down, so it kind of makes sense that gym rats (and endurance runners and cyclists in particular) can start sweating sooner and heavier into their workout sessions than others. Stinky, but handy.

15. Stress can make you produce more earwax than usual, and worry-induced wax smells worse than the stress-free kind.

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The apocrine glands in your ear are the same glands that are responsible for your smelliest sweat, and when you'e stressed or sick, they can encourage faster, smellier earwax production. It's basically the same process that makes you sweat when you're worried, only somehow this is even less appealing.

16. Ever heard the phrase "brain worms"? Yeah, turns out actual brain worms really do exist (don't mind me, just exiting the planet).

Sinhyu / Getty Images

These (frankly cursed) parasites are officially called cysticercosis, and they can affect everything form your muscles to your brain. They get in to your most vital organ via tiny eggs that affected people swallow, and once they're in there, they can affect everything from your nervous system to your vision.

17. The average person breaks wind about fourteen times a day. Fourteen. Times.

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If you're pretty sure you don't notice yourself passing gas over ten times daily, that's because lots of the expulsions happen at night. The average gut holds about 0.5 to 1.5 litres of gas, so it's no wonder our toots are so prolific!

18. Your nose and throat are always coated with a layer of mucus...

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It sounds disgusting, but actually the gross material helps to filter germs from your mouth and nose, and hydrate the lining underneath it. Well, the more you know, I guess?

19. ...so it kind of makes sense that most of us swallow about 1.5 pints of the slimy stuff every day.

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Because mucus is formed near your lungs as well as in your nose and throat, you're pretty much guaranteed to be knocking back at least a bit of snot every time you swallow. Yes, it ends up harmlessly heading to your stomach, and yes, it IS diluted with other fluid, but it's still about 1.5 pints more mucus than I'd like to know about, thanks.

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