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Your spine is actually more interesting than you think. It is also considered one of the most important parts of the human body, if not THE most important. Check out these cool facts about the human spine and its interesting characteristics:

  1. It’s Not Very Thick – Surprisingly the spinal cord is only 1 centimeter thick. It stops growing after the age of five.
  2. It Has Great Memory – The spinal cord has an excellent memory, which is why it is so important to treat it right. Having proper posture and making sure your back is well taken care of at an early age is important to your spinal cord’s long-term health.
  3. It Works by Itself – The spinal cord can work independently. It doesn’t always need to receive signals from the brain to do its job. In certain circumstances, it can work on its own and send important muscles directly to the muscles.
  4. We Lose Vertebrae as We Get Older – As babies, we are born with 33 vertebrae, but only end up with 24 by adulthood. Why? We lose nine to other parts of the body. Four vertebrae from the tailbone and the other five create the back of a person’s pelvis.
  5. Humans and Giraffes Are Actually Very Similar – Humans and giraffes actually have the same number of vertebrae in our necks.
  6. It Is Very Flexible – The spinal cord is unbelievably flexible. If it were removed from the body, it could form at least two-thirds of a perfect circle when bent.
  7. The Spine Is Strong – The spine is extremely strong and can support hundreds of kilograms worth of pressure before breaking.
  8. Spinal Disorders are Common – The highest percentage of injuries to the disabled population include spinal-cord related disorders.
  9. Gravity Affects Height – The spinal cord is roughly 25 percent cartilage. This can actually affect our height. For example, an astronaut may grow an inch or two after returning from space due to the expansion of their cartilage disks. For those of us on Earth, we are tallest when we first awake, due to gravity’s shrinking effect throughout the day.
  10. It Contains Many Working Parts – With over 100 joints, 220 ligaments, and 120 total muscles, the spinal cord has many working parts.

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