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Questions tagged [physiology]

Human physiology is the science of the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions of humans in good health, their organs, and the cells of which they are composed. The principal level of focus of physiology is at the level of organs and systems within systems.

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105
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8answers
29k views

Could people perceive the color blue in ancient times?

This article claims that no ancient language anywhere in the world had the word for "blue", that for instance Homer described the sea as "wine-dark", and that the color blue has only appeared more ...
90
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3answers
56k views

Does every species get around a billion heartbeats on average?

I read this webcomic today: From: abominable.cc I have no idea where the author got his factoid about the billion heartbeats. But it sounds interesting. The examples I can think of (rabbits, humans,...
77
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3answers
48k views

Is it possible to “die instantly”?

Lots of times, when some great tragedy occurs, one often hears journalists and bystanders alike softening the blow of having some person die by saying something like "at least they died instantly" or "...
77
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1answer
12k views

Does milk make your bones stronger?

It's a common notion that milk makes bones stronger; milk contains calcium and bones contain calcium. But obviously it's not the case that calcium ingested is immediately deposited into bones. In fact,...
67
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1answer
9k views

Do bras prevent you from getting saggy boobs?

I've heard this one repeated by women I know a few times, but it sounds like a product of confirmation bias to me. Is there supporting evidence for the claim that if you don't wear a bra you should ...
60
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2answers
25k views

Is this André the Giant's hand holding a can of beer?

Is this a genuine image of the hand of André René Roussimoff (André the Giant) holding an everyday 12-ounce (350 mL) can of beer? Uproxx and reddit suggest it's real (and word is he once drank ...
59
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4answers
6k views

Is there any explanation for a near-death experience?

One idea I used to hear a lot about was that when people are near-death and saved by medical science that they sometimes see "a light at the end of a tunnel" in a vision. Today I read about an ...
58
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3answers
10k views

Are women physically weaker?

I've always thought that "women are weaker1 than men in general" was a biological fact (supposedly stemming/evolving from the social structure of prehistoric humans) However, in this video (~21:36), ...
58
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1answer
258k views

Do human eyes grow after birth?

My friend just assured me that when a person is born, their eyes are at the size they will be for the rest of their life, or, that they do not grow. A Google for this question shows that it has been ...
55
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3answers
45k views

Can black people, on average, jump higher than white people?

Most people hear this in one form or another at some point in their life, especially those kids who play basketball. Even videos of white guys who have excellent jumping ability stress the fact that ...
50
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3answers
9k views

Does the color temperature of a computer screen affect sleep patterns?

There's a little tool called f.lux that claims: During the day, computer screens look good — they're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at ...
49
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3answers
4k views

Is cycling worse for the environment than driving to work if you need to take a shower?

I had an argument with a work colleague. He claims that me cycling to and from work is less environmentally friendly than driving because I will eat more as a result of expending more energy. I have ...
48
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9answers
21k views

Can trained humans run faster than all other animals on a marathon distance?

During the athletics world championship, a commentator mentioned casually during the marathon discipline that humans are faster over long distances than all animals. I'm unsure if this can be said ...
48
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2answers
26k views

Are people taller in the morning than at night?

I've heard this claim quite a few times and have even repeated it as fact. The basic claim is that 'gravity compresses the spine' during the waking hours and since (most people) sleep at night, they ...
47
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3answers
25k views

Does playing chess burn as many calories as running?

I heard once that when two Chess Grandmasters play a five hour game of chess, the intense concentration and focus they have causes their bodies to burn as many calories as someone playing a sport ...
47
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1answer
6k views

Does frequent sex cause vaginas to become permanently stretched?

This is a common belief, sometimes used to shame women - that virgins have 'tight' vaginas and women who partake in more sexual intercourse have 'loose' vaginas due to permanent stretching. Is this ...
45
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5answers
8k views

Can venomous snakes be determined by these pupil, nostril and scale patterns?

This image was recently shared by an Australian Facebook friend: The source appears to be a Facebook post of a man from India with a staggering 380,000 shares from around the world! There are ...
44
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6answers
6k views

Are different prices in wines justified by taste?

According to the BBC, Wine costing less than £5 a bottle can have the same effect on the palate as those priced up to six times as much, a psychological taste challenge suggests. My skeptic sense ...
44
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1answer
13k views

Did the study mentioned by “The virginity fraud” TEDx Talk happen?

During 2017's TEDx Oslo Talk The virginity fraud, the presenters refer to a (supposed) study on the reliability of virginity testing around 9:15 mark: The absurdity of virgin testing is illustrated ...
43
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1answer
6k views

Is running anti-clockwise easier than running clockwise?

Athletics events that take place on a track are always run anti-clockwise (IAAF Track and Field Facilities Manual, section 2.2). There has been some discussion in the letters page in The Telegraph ...
42
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1answer
11k views

Does vegetarian sweat smell better?

I've read this article online in a Belgian newspaper (in Dutch): Weet wat je zweet: deze 7 dingen wist je nog niet over zweten — HLN. Number 4 is saying that vegetarian sweat smells better then non ...
42
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1answer
265k views

Does it take the same force to bite through a finger as a carrot?

I've heard (multiple times) that your finger is as easy to bite through as a carrot. Here are some places I've seen it proposed: KGBAnswers WikiAnswers Additionally, it is a popular question on ...
41
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2answers
83k views

Does the DNA of one sperm contain 37.5 MB of information?

[Source] In an episode of the BBC show QI - Quite Interesting (Series J, Episode 1) Stephen Fry said: How much information do you think is in the DNA of one little sperm...? It's 37.5 MB... ...
41
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1answer
36k views

Can a blow to the base of the neck cause unconsciousness? (i.e., “Karate…CHOP!”)

Relating to Are one-hit knockouts possible? : It was a common trope in the 60s for heroes to knock out evildoers with a open-handed chop to the base of the neck (preferably accompanied with a high-...
41
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3answers
4k views

Is stretching beneficial after exercise?

A quick internet search on stretching reveals that, if physiologists were a bit more belligerent, the question of whether or not to stretch after exercise is something actual wars could be fought over....
39
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2answers
133k views

Can you break a person's neck with a manual head twist?

In a move often seen in action movies (very often!), someone takes the head of another person with both hands, usually from behind, and twists it only once or twice in order to break their neck. A ...
39
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1answer
4k views

Does the sound of water make one want to pee?

I've known it like forever, I think I was told so since I was a kid. But how true it actually is? I clearly can't see what's the connection between the sound of water and a natural need. From my own ...
38
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2answers
15k views

Can you punch someone's nose into their brain?

A persistent tale in martial arts is that one can strike an unfortunate other on the nose in such a way that you drive the cartilege up into their brain. Is this possible? I think some points to ...
37
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2answers
18k views

Does the tongue have different taste zones?

I've seen quite a few of these "tongue maps", showing discrete borders between taste zones and often conflicting setups, like these two: Anecdotally, I can feel all tastes all over the tongue, more ...
37
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1answer
7k views

Does one remain conscious after decapitation?

Various articles online claim anecdotal evidence from witnesses that a man's guillotine severed head remains conscious for some time after decapitation (here's an example). Some cite sources that the ...
36
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1answer
20k views

Does a lobster feel little/no pain when boiled alive?

Image Source I have just read Cracked.com's "9 Ridiculous Cooking Myths You Probably Believe", that claims: [...] because [the lobster's] nervous system isn't very complex, so it's feeling little ...
35
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3answers
24k views

Is there a correlation between penis size and race?

I recently saw this video, where among other things they claimed that there is no correlation between penis size and race. Is this true? I don't remember everything about the video. It was animated, ...
35
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3answers
3k views

Near death experiences — clinically dead person “sees” something, later verified to be true?

This is slightly different from the question HERE, asking "Is there and explanation for near death experiences." I'm not discussion the vague, light-in-the-tunnel, warm-feeling near death experiences (...
35
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2answers
6k views

Should we drink water before we feel thirsty?

The claim is that we should be drinking water routinely to the point that we never feel thirsty, and that to not be doing so is to our detriment, at least enough for the notion to be popular amongst ...
35
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1answer
22k views

Reading while lying down is more strenuous (unhealthy) for eyes

My friend heard that reading while lying down is more strenuous (unhealthy) for eyes. I like reading in bed (books, tablet). Is there some study that confirms this hypothesis? I use two positions (...
35
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1answer
22k views

Can you cause mosquitos to explode from drinking too much blood by flexing your muscles?

I have heard several times as I've grown up that you can flex your muscles to make mosquitos get stuck and explode. Looking around the web, I find several sources claiming the same. Q: If you flex ...
34
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2answers
41k views

Length of uncoiled human DNA

I recently came across this fact: There's enough DNA in the human body to stretch from the sun to Pluto and back. A couple of "Bollocks!" alarms began to chime in my head. While I expect that it ...
34
votes
1answer
7k views

Can you get your legs stuck around a pole, leading to cramping and then death?

I came across this video that makes a series of claims based around a position that a person can apparently get stuck in around a pole, and unintentionally kill themselves: Tied up without a rope (...
34
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1answer
5k views

Did an experiment show none of 680 Air Force cadets were of “average” size?

Various workshops given by Nielsen-Norman Group in the User Experience field, mention a specific experiment that involved Air Force cadets. The experiment is meant to illustrate the point that there'...
34
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1answer
2k views

Does sexual activity burn a significant amount of calories?

Are there any reviews out there of scientific studies conforming or invalidating the common claim that sexual activity is a good way to burn calories? Have quantitative measurements of work exerted (i....
34
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0answers
3k views

Is this shoe lacing technique effective at preventing blackened toe nails?

See: Reddit: LPT: How to lace your running shoes (June 7, 2015) Reddit: Black toes from ultimate? (May 20, 2015) Runner's World: How To Lace Shoes: Prevent Black Toe Nails (March 4, 2011) They link ...
33
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1answer
9k views

Can Scopolamine turn people into mindless “zombies”?

Vice did a report about scopolamine dubbing it as the world's scariest drug. The story is that people being given that drug can be told to do anything, similar to some popular claims about hypnosis ...
32
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2answers
27k views

Did David Blaine hold his breath for 17 minutes?

David Blaine (born David Blaine White; April 4, 1973) is an American magician, illusionist and endurance artist. He is best known for his high-profile feats of endurance, and has made his name as a ...
32
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3answers
5k views

Does the brain use more energy during mental work?

There is the idea that mental work is tiring. Does the brain as a whole need to consume more glucose and oxygen when we are "mentally active"?
31
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1answer
2k views

If one man is shot in the head while holding a gun to another man, can the former get a shot off on the latter?

In the movies, the following situation is routine: One man is hunting down another. Upon locating him, the hunter points his firearm at the hunted's head at close range. At this very moment, an ...
30
votes
1answer
6k views

Do you use only 14 muscles to smile but 43 to frown?

I have heard this claim many times You use 14 muscles to smile and 43 to frown But I have never seen any actual proof of this and always assumed it was just one of those midwest folksy sayings. ...
29
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2answers
9k views

Do non-FDA approved “male enhancement” pills work?

The airwaves and Internet are full of advertisements for "male enhancement" products: magic pills "guaranteed" to enlarge your penis and increase your sex drive. For example, ExtenZe, perhaps the ...
29
votes
1answer
2k views

Does blood type affect what type of food is best for you?

I remember that, a few years ago, my parents were told that different blood types need to eat differently. From a quick look online, it seems to be called "Eat Right For Your Type." It claimed that, ...
29
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1answer
2k views

Does defecating while sitting cause more strain than squatting?

This commercial1 from "Squatty Potty" claims that evacuating stool in a seated position is suboptimal for humans because we have a muscle that partially pinches the colon when seated. They claim that, ...
29
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3answers
4k views

Do either men or women have higher pain tolerance than the other?

Traditional folklore suggests women have a higher pain tolerance than men. I have seen a few sites suggesting otherwise. Naturally, plenty of anecdotal accounts of wussy men or women get tossed around ...