6 Things Your Body Does Every Day (That Can Destroy You)
Life is dangerous: You could slip in the shower, get hit by a bus, mauled by a bear or drown in breasts (it happens, look it up). It always pays to be safe, and a life lived cautiously is a life lived long. For those of us who walk the cautious road and avoid the three lethal B's--buses, bears and breasts--wherever possible, life should be more or less safe. Right?
Not in the slightest. See, it turns out just waking up in the morning can be as dangerous as any drunken all-night lion-punching marathon, and you can just as easily kill yourself sneezing as you could playing Gun Hockey (and at least Gun Hockey's fun... well, up until Shotgun Overtime, anyway).
What, did you think that was a throwaway example? No, sneezing will jack your shit up. Though it's one of those annoying biological functions that serves a deceptively useful purpose (it's your body's way of getting dirty snot out of it) and often provides a convenient excuse for spitting in your enemies' faces, it's still basically a time-bomb planted inside your nose.
A sneeze can rupture your ear drums, break your spine or straight up murder you. It's like Mortal Kombat inside your face. People have slipped discs in their backs, broken ribs and triggered heart attacks from a simple sneeze. And keep in mind, we're not talking about fragile people who were also at the end of a long battle with a terminal disease. These were just normal people, going about their normal lives, until they got a whiff of pepper and woke up six hours later in a dumpster laying atop their shattered limbs.
Coughing just sucks. It has no redeeming qualities: it's not endearing in any way; there is nobody on Earth that will find you more sexually attractive due to a cough (cue the coughing fetishists--we know you're out there, Internet). But dangerous? Oh yes. On those long, seemingly endless hacking fits, there's always the chance you will suffocate on your own body's so-called protective mechanism--which responds to choking threats by shutting off your airways. Good call on that, body; that's like responding to objects moving rapidly at your face by shutting down your eyeballs.
Pictured: Your body and you.
There are also cough induced rib fractures, rupturing of the diaphragm and even abdominal herniation. That's a broken rib, a ripped diaphragm and part of your torso leaking out a little, all because you coughed. It's not even rare; it's mentioned that "each individual injury is well documented in the literature," meaning these kinds of things happen all the goddamn time. The rib fracturing and hernias happen often enough that the Wikipedia pages for each affliction list coughing as "a common cause." The page actually describes a man who had all these things happen at once. Yep! You're basically one coughing fit away from beating the shit out of your insides.
"Dear lord! I should have never left Chauncy alone in this Pepper laboratory!"
Man, there just isn't much of a downside to a good crap: It gives us time alone, to think, to read--to better ourselves in a plethora of ways. Pooping is what most of us in the Western world do instead of meditating. Aside from the occasional bathroom that must be exorcised, burned and the Earth beneath it salted so that nothing might ever grow on that accursed land again, there's no downside to a good, solid (sorry) bowel movement, right?
Truly, a spiritual experience.
Oh god, there is so much. But don't worry, straining to force it out isn't fatal or anything--you might just get away with a mere crippling injury. All that straining can cause diverticulitis (Caution! Picture!), hemorrhoids (Caution! Another picture!) and rectal prolapse (Thank Christ, no picture). Diverticulitis is a condition where pockets in your small intestine become filled with blood, which can then burst, filling your bowels with blood and your blood with dook, and extra bacteria in your body is never a good thing. Hemorrhoids are well known enough that we can just skip over disturbing, intimate descriptions of them (they're like varicose veins in your asshole) but rectal prolapse? That's the kind of injury that makes John Carpenter weep.
It is a weakening of the ligaments that hold your intestines together, and in the worst case scenario, your intestine comes loose and hangs out your anus. Oh, we're sorry; we should've capitalized that. That should read "The Worst Case Scenario," because crapping out intestines is the worst thing that can happen in any possible situation. DO NOT DO A GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH FOR THIS.
Look, a puppy!
Luckily you can avoid all that by... oh, wait. There's not much you can do to avoid it, aside from never, ever straining, or you know, never pooping again.
No one is entirely sure why we do it, but everyone does it a few times a day at the least. So how could something as innocent as a yawn be dangerous? It's called temporomandibular dislocation, which is an eight dollar way to say "dislocated jaw." When you yawn, you open your mouth (Cracked is informative!) good and wide, and if for some reason the ligaments in that area are a little loose, your jaw bone can come straight out of the joint. Seriously: You could yawn right now (and the more we mention it the more likely it is) and half of your face could very well explode out of the other half of your face, like a goddamn cartoon skeleton.
Yawning: The Sleepy Terror!
This condition can result in "significant discomfort" according to the experts. If you're picturing somebody prying your jaw open so far until your face tears apart, you're probably replying, "No significant shit, experts!"
But hey, since yawning doesn't seem to serve any purpose, just don't do it! Especially not... right... now!
Man, wouldn't that feel good right about now?
It's unpleasant, but most of us have done it at some point: You get one of those nasty white heads, you go to the bathroom, you pop it. There's no call for describing that; a graphic description won't further the article any, so let's not get grosser than we have to here (it's like squeezing mayonnaise out of a flesh-tube). Now, everyone knows that popping zits can spread infection and lead to more zits, but there's also the risk of scarring and heavy bleeding which, when taken to extremes, can lead to a terminal case of Edward James Olmos.
You're probably aware of all that, but you probably haven't heard of something called "cerebral venous sinus thrombosis." That's a confounding term, so Doctor Oz, for the sake of simplicity, gives it another name: The Triangle of Death. The only reason we ended that sentence with a period because there's not yet a punctuation mark for "lightning crashing."
Basically, there's a cluster of blood vessels just under your nose that, through poor architectural planning, flow directly to your brain. Any infection that develops in this area via open sores (like popped pimples) can in a heartbeat transport itself to the one place in your body that you least want an infection. So by popping one zit, you can circumvent decades of dutifully devouring trans fats and empty calories, and stroke out within a few hours, if not minutes.
No thanks, we've got this suicide covered. Maybe next time!
Don't want your life to vanish in the Bermuda Triangle of the human body? Keep your hands off your goddamn face. You might end up looking like Pizza the Hutt, but leave the zits where they are, let the nose hair grow free and wild, and for Christ's sake, don't even think about facial piercings--if not because you look like a tool, then at least for fear of instant death.
Sleeping is right up there with beer, boobs and revenge as one of life's simplest, grandest pleasures.Can sleeping be dangerous? Sure, people sometimes do weird shit while asleep, but unless you're driving a car, operating heavy equipment or walking tightrope over a volcano, that's not going to kill you. Science knows all sorts of reasons why too little sleep can be dangerous, so by extension, getting extra sleep must be like a dip in the hot tub of youth (fountains are for old people).
Too long in the hot tub.
But of course, life is not run by a system of checks and balances; it's run by horrifying trauma and murderous coincidence. That's probably why a recent British study conversely showed that sleeping too much--more than seven hours a night--doubles your chances of dying within 11 to 17 years, and not even from cardiovascular disease like those lucky bastards with insomnia. And we'd like to clarify here; they're not saying that an extra hour of sleep will shorten your twilight years a little. They're saying that, by hitting the snooze button, you're less likely to see the end of this goddamn decade.
They aren't really sure why, but Francesco Cappuccino (who sounds more like a Carmen Sandiego character than the respectable scientist he is) stated that "some candidate causes for this include depression, low socio-economic status and cancer-related fatigue." So in some cases, the case studies were poor depressed cancer patients, which makes sense. For the rest of them, it was "fucked if we know. Get up earlier."
So there you go: Sleep exactly seven hours a night, not a minute more, not a minute less--because a late coffee on one side, and you'll have a heart attack; a snooze button on the other, and you will just mysteriously fucking die within the next 10 years.
Do you have something funny to say about a random topic? You could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow. Go here and find out how to create a Topic Page.
To take your mind off of your imminent death, here's a couple articles about boobs and sex: The 6 Most Gratuitously Cleavaged Women on TV and 9 Awesome Places to Have Sex (And the Horrific Consequences).
And stop by our Top Picks (Updated 2.24.2010) where there's even stuff for the ladies... all two of you.
And be sure to check out our friends at the Huffington Post as they take a look at some hilariously awful police sketches.