5 Bizarre Things Your Body Does (Explained by Science)

#2. Why Do You Always Pee More When It's Cold?

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Ever come in from a hot day to a cold blast of air conditioning and immediately have to piss? Or jump into a swimming pool full of cold water and start peeing your little heart out, even though you didn't have to go before you dove in? If you've never noticed it before, you will now -- it's a known scientific phenomenon. So enlighten us, science: Why do we pee more when it's cold?

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And could you sum it up quickly? We're about to pop over here.

It's all because of the cold diuresis phenomenon, which increases your urge to pee at an exponential rate as the temperature drops. The colder it gets, the harder the piss seems to push against the inside of your organs. It's hard to ascertain why it is that the bladder goes into overdrive when the temperature dips, presumably because nobody capable of finding out cared all that much, but the leading theory has to do with how when you're cold, your blood vessels shrink, especially in your extremities.

As a consequence, blood tends to draw deep within the confines of your body, where it can remain nice and toasty and let the appendages deal with that whole "freezing" thing. A side effect of blood's retreat tactics, however, is that all the scrunching of veins and arteries drastically drives up your blood pressure. This sends the kidneys into full alarm, and they try to compensate by dumping water.

#1. Why Do You Wake Up Early After a Night of Drinking?

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After a night of heavy drinking, nothing looks as good as your own bed. The deep slumber that follows a busy evening spent pounding your liver into submission is arguably the best sleep of all, and you fully expect to not open your eyes until sometime in the late afternoon.

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Ideally, right around the time the bars start to open back up.

But then you wake up at 3 a.m., still tired as hell, yet somehow wide awake. There you are, confined to a sleepless existence at the worst possible time, as the tiny alcohol demons racing through your veins are slowly starting to lose the battle with the dreary trolls of hangover. All you want to do is close your eyes and go back to the warm, dark place where pain doesn't exist. But there is no help, no release, and oh shit work starts in four hours.

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Fireworks tester seemed like such a cool job at first ...

Everyone who's ever ingested alcohol has at some point encountered this weird, random phenomenon where you jerk awake for no reason, despite being tired and/or wasted as all hell when you go to sleep. This unwished-for wake-up call, and your subsequent inability to revisit Slumberland, is due to the rebound effect of alcohol. The hooch has activated the jumble of hormones and the metabolic pathways responsible for sobering you up.

As you drink, your body is hard at work metabolizing the poison you rudely keep pouring into it. This takes a considerable amount of time, and at the point where you've already been thrown out for vomiting on the pool table, your night may be over, but your liver's work is just beginning. It's churning away the alcohol while you hit Taco Bell, sext your boss, find the keyhole on the seventh try, and finally go to sleep. And then -- ping -- it's done. By that time, you're already sleeping peacefully, but your body doesn't give a good goddamn. Happy to be finally done with your ethanol bullshit, it enters a "thank fuck, we're finally clear" state, thus disrupting the hell out of your sleep cycle.

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Leaving you somewhere between "awake enough to feel pain" and "too sleepy to seek out Excedrin."

This effect can be dodged if you have no more than a drink or two, or presumably if you drink yourself into a full-on coma, but pretty much anything in between can send your internal alarm clock ringing, resigning you to a late-night whirlwind of Three's Company reruns and sex hotline commercials.


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Related Reading: Your body does things every day that science can't explain, like yawn. If you're interested in exploiting some of your body's built-in cheat codes, we can help you with that, too. Afraid your body might betray you some day? We can give you the worst-case scenarios.

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