5 Amazing Things About Your Very Own Blood

On an average day, you probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about human blood. But we’d like to see you try to live without it! Except not actually – we like you the way you are, i.e. alive. The more you know about blood, though, the more you will come to respect it. When it’s not busy feeding vampires, your blood is taking care of more aspects of your health than you might expect. And all it asks in return is that you not get stabbed too often.

5 There are Around 5 Million Red Blood Cells in a Cubic Millimeter of Blood

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Your red blood cells (which are properly termed “erythrocytes,” by the way) are numerous, to say the least. In fact, there are more than 5 million of them in the average cubic millimeter! And that’s a good thing, because an average of 2 million red blood cells die each and every second.

4 It Can Take Two Months for Your Body to Produce 1 Pint of Blood

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After you lose a pint of blood, ideally through donation, but also through any sort of bloody injury, your body gets to work replacing it. Within a single 24-hour period, your body can draw in enough fluid and nutrients to replace the fluid plasma lost, but it can take up to eight weeks for your bone marrow to reproduce all the red and white cells lost in that precious pint.

3 Blood is Made up of Four Main Components

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Blood is mostly plasma, which is a yellowish fluid that carries along the three cells that get the job done. Red blood cells, by far the most numerous, deliver oxygen to every part of your body. White blood cells battle bacteria and viruses. Platelets help your blood to clot and form scabs, sealing wounds. But beyond those basic components, at any given time your blood is also carrying sugar, calcium, alcohol, cholesterol, vitamin B-12 and just about anything else you put into your body.

2 Your Heart Pumps Nearly 6 Quarts of Blood a Minute

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That’s around a gallon and a half of blood every minute! So if you were paying attention to our first fact, then you got it: That means almost every single drop of your blood makes a round trip every minute of the day. Of course this is again an average, as the blood that has to go to your toe tips takes longer to return than the stuff that goes to your lungs or head, but still, pretty good work, human heart!

1 You Have More Blood Than You Might Think

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The average human being is walking around with more than 5 liters of blood in them. (Of course there is a huge range between, say, a 5-foot-1 woman who weighs 90 pounds and a 6-foot-6 man who weighs 280, but we said average, dammit!) To break that down for you, 5 liters equals 1.3 gallons, or just more than 20 cups. That’s a lot of 8-ounce servings of blood, huh?

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