Male Human skeleton, four views, front, back, side and perspective. Scientifically correct, photorealistic 3-D rendering. Clipping path included.

Fascinating Facts About the Human Skeleton

September 9, 2019

No matter who you are, you’ve got something that everybody else has got, too: a skeleton! Underneath your skin sits a complex system of bones to keep you upright and moving. Here are some fascinating facts you and your kids can enjoy about the human skeletal system.

How many bones do humans have?

It’s common knowledge that there are 206 bones in the human body. But that’s not the case for everyone. Adults have 206 bones; at birth, people have around 270. There are spaces in between a lot of those bones, giving room for everything to grow and, by adulthood, a lot of bones fuse together, significantly reducing the total count.

Why do humans need bones?

Can you name the two primary functions of bones? The first is structure. They give bodies their “human” shape. The other purpose: They protect organs. The vertebrae of the back bone keeps the spinal cord safe, for example, while the lungs and heart get to do what they do thanks to the protection of the sternum and rib cage.

How much of your body weight is bone weight?

Around 14 percent of your total body weight is made up of bones.

What part of the body has the most bones?

The most complicated skeletal structures are the hands and feet. One hand contains 27 bones, while a foot consists of 26. That means over half of an adult’s bones are hand and foot bones.

How are bones different from each other?

There are two kinds of bones, and the differences are subtle. Cortical bones are the main, structure-providing bones, and are the denser and harder of the two types. The other are the slightly softer trabecular bones. Some examples of this type: the pelvis, ribs, and skull. They’re not as thick as cortical bones, but they’re still quite hard.

What are the inside of bones like?

Bone marrow. What’s inside of bone marrow? Stem cells, which go on to become brain, heart, blood, and, of course, bone cells.

What chemicals are inside of bones?

Bones are made up primarily of calcium, phosphorus, and sodium, although they’re about 50 percent water.

How strong are human bones?

Bones do break, but that’s a relative rarity because they’re so strong. On average, a human bone can withstand as much force as three times the body’s weight. The longest bone in the body is also the strongest bone, and that’s the femur, found in the upper leg. It’s about as strong as both granite and concrete.

For more amazing knowledge about the biological body, read Who Knew? Human Anatomy. It’s available now from Portable Press