Greetings ghouls and goblins, and happy Halloween! The internet is full of some scary “facts” about the human body, but which ones are true? In our special Halloween anatomy snippet we debunk 3 creepy myths about the anatomy.
Myth 1 – Swallowed gum takes 7 years to digest:
Maybe you couldn’t find a nearby trash can, or perhaps you were enjoying the taste just a little too much. Whatever the case, we have at some point swallowed our chewing gum.
And if the common old wives’ tale is true, that gum will be in our digestive system for the next seven years, wreaking all sorts of havoc.
Thankfully, research has proved this to be untrue. Nothing would stay in the stomach for that long unless it’s too large to pass through the stomach or was trapped in the intestines.
Chewing gum passes through the digestive system like any other food. Our body rapidly breaks down some of the gum’s components, such as sweeteners and oil derivatives, but the gum’s rubber or latex base gets churned out in a matter of days. However, it’s not something we recommend making a habit of!
Myth 2 – Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis
The cracking of joints, especially knuckles, was long believed to lead to arthritis and other joint problems. However, medical research has not yet found a clear connection.
There are many theories explaining why our joints make this gruesome cracking noise. One of these theories is that the cracking mechanism and the resulting sound is caused by sudden and partial collapse of carbon dioxide cavitation bubbles inside the joints.
Myth 3 – Fingernails and hair continue to grow after dying:
This one is a dead cert, right? Wrong! Hair and fingernails may appear to lengthen long after death but it’s not because they are still growing. Research has shown that with death comes loss of vascular supply to tissues over time, leading to dehydration and shrinkage of the skin around the hair and nails. This creates an optical illusion that many superstitious souls have mistaken for growth.
So there you have it – don’t believe everything you hear! Have a simply delightful and frightful Halloween from all the folks at Complete Anatomy!