The Department of Defense has been hosting the Warrior Games since 2010. These unique games give wounded service members the opportunity to compete against one another in a supportive atmosphere. In 2018, the Warrior Games saw 300 adaptive athletes from various branches of the armed forces compete. One of these fierce competitors was Retired Army Sgt. Christopher McGinnis.
Whether it’s as an intense competitor on the court, a loving father at home, or a soldier ready to lay it all on the line for his country on the battlefield, Christopher McGinnis gives it his all no matter what. “My motivation for competition is really my two sons,” explains the Army veteran. “They’re my pride and joy.”
McGinnis was raised in a small town in upstate New York. As a kid, his excelled on the field, becoming a star football player. His talents eventually brought him to college, but his football career would end as the result of a nagging injury.
He then enlisted in the military, hoping to give back to his country. He eventually ended up in Afghanistan. In 2013, just a few weeks into his deployment, McGinnis encountered indirect fire. The aftermath would leave him with a severely injured right knee.
“I guess I didn’t know the severity of it at the time,” says McGinnis. “I’d come back from any mission that we had… and my knee would be the size of a basketball.” McGinnis fought through the pain for as long as he could, but soon found it to be unbearable. After seeking medical help, he ended up at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
Over the course of three years, he would need five surgeries. With a plate and seven screws in his knee, his military career was over. Now, McGinnis also needed to accept that the active lifestyle that he had grown accustomed to would never be the same. He fell into a “deep, deep depression,” and struggled to find purpose in life.
“Having the doctor come in and tell you, ‘The likelihood of you ever running again is slim to none’ — that was really a shot to my ego, and a shot to the gut, too,” describes McGinnis. On the surface, McGinnis reveals little about the challenges he has faced and overcome. Aside from his slight limp, you wouldn’t suspect anything from a man with such a warm personality.
“No matter what injuries that we’ve sustained, no matter where we are mentally, we’re not down and out of the fight,” explains McGinnis, who took on the role as leader for just about all of his teams in the 2018 Warrior Games.
“When we’re out here competing, we’re after each other. We’ll dog you, we’ll do whatever it takes,” he says with a smile. “Obviously, Team Army is going to be No. 1 no matter what.” McGinnis is looking forward to his chance to try out for the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania wheelchair basketball team.
45 Oddly Fascinating Facts About the Human Body
The functions of the human body may seem conventional and ordinary until some facts about it are examined closely. Below are well-compiled facts about the human body that are weird but true.
The Human/Shark Teeth Connection
Who could have thought the great shark has something in common with humans? Well, the teeth of humans and sharks have some similarities. The human teeth have a similar strength to that of sharks.
Even though the minerals that make up the teeth of the shark are quite different from that of the human, they have similar strengths. The enamel coating on the human teeth gives extra hardness and overall strength.
The Stomach Blushes?
Blushing brings a reddish color to the face. The fascinating thing is that just as the face turns red around the cheeks when someone blushes, the stomach lining turns red at the same time — making the stomach blush also.
Well, it’s not that the redness is transmitted from the face to the stomach. Rather, the capillaries in the body expand. This increases the blood flow and brings about redness on the face and the stomach—a fascinating human body fact.
The Indestructible Human Hair
Reading the captions, what comes to mind is what about fire? Well, that is true. Apart from fire, the hair has a high resistance to chemical and other types of acidic compounds.
Who could have thought something on the human body could be so strong and very resistant to decay? The human body is truly a complex and mysterious system that requires lots of studies to keep discovering fascinating things about.
The Travelling Blood Vessels
The blood vessels may not seem so long, considering the size of the human body. However, the total length of blood vessels, if fully extended, can go around the earth twice.
The vessels are numerous such that when laid out side by side, their vast number will go around the world two times. The blood vessels are present everywhere in the body– the legs, arteries, veins, and other parts of the body. This is yet another fascinating fact about the body that is not so popular and widely known.
Our Eyes Are Basically HD
For many who have a device, it’s apparent that the camera quality is always not up to what the eyes can see. There is always a difference in the color the eye interprets and what most devices project.
The eyes have 500 megapixels quality that gives an accurate and clear image. Not many devices or digital cameras can function as eyes do. In fact, except for zooming in and zooming out, the eyes are almost unbeatable in terms of clarity.
The Man of Many Faces
The emoji on smartphones has lots of facial expressions that humans make. Although there are about hundreds on a cellphone, the actual human face can create more than 6000. The face has lots of muscles that can create lots of movements and generates a wide range of expressions.
Compared to extremely hairy mammals, the human face has less hair, and this makes it easy to spot the different changes in expressions. Every slight change in the position of the facial muscle is easy to detect and differentiate from other similar types.
Your Skin’s Pretty Light
The body of an adult human has an amount of skin that equals about 16% of the total body mass. The skin covers the entire body and internal organs. If the skin was hypothetically peeled and weighed, it would weigh an ample part of the body weight.
If also lined up, the entire length will measure about 22 square feet– that’s a significant amount of length. If not told, this fascinating fact is not known to many — strange but true.
Our Bones Regenerate Every 10 Years?
The human bone is active and always growing. The regeneration is not obvious, but there are always two types of bone in the body at some point– the new and old bones.
At a tender age, the regeneration is constant and always ongoing. As humans age, however, this process slows down gradually. The whole process of regeneration slows down until it comes to a halt, and some start to even degenerate.
Piercing Stomach Acid
There are acids of various types in the stomach of everyone. The acids play an important role in the breakdown of ingested food items.
But only a few people are aware that the acid contained in their stomach is powerful enough to burn through the skin (if it touches it). The HCl acid in the stomach can create a hole in a wood — it’s that powerful. Don’t be scared — the body stores this acid in a way that doesn’t harm itself and cause severe damage.
The Heart Is Basically a Blood Projector
The heart pours gallons upon gallons of blood every day. Yet, it never stops pumping. The pressure at which the heart pumps is also quite impressive. When measured, if the heart gushes blood, it would reach as far as 30 feet– that is a lot of distance!
To illustrate, if one at a side of the room, the heart’s pressure can spray blood across the room. This is quite interesting considering the size of the heart and that it can generate such pressure to push the thick liquid out that far is a unique function — that many don’t know about.
You Really Think You’re Awake? Blink Again
Ever wondered the exact time the eyes stay open when awake? Of course, while asleep, the eyes remain closed– no debates. However, when awake, the case is different. The blinking of the eyes takes up 10% of the time spent while wide awake.
It seems hard to believe? Check this out– the eyes blink about 20 times a minute– that’s a lot when calculated in an hour. Not so difficult to believe now? And for some who blink more frequently and longer, the amount of time is a little different.
The Stress-Relieving Thumb Trick
Stress is almost inevitable in this busy world. To ease stress, there are lots of options to consider. Some employ the use of ice or medication. However, if ice and medication are not available, or the condition is not so severe, this trick can work.
Dip the thumb in the mouth for some seconds, remove it, then start to blow air on it. This technique cools down the pulse around the thumb and also gives a sense of relief to the entire body—a simple, easy, and effective method to battle stress.
The Ancient Pink Corner
The pink corner of the eyes is believed to have similarities with that of birds and reptiles from millions of years. Science relates the pink color to evolution.
The evolution of man causes a resemblance in the eye corner. Birds from millions of years also have pink eye corners. However, the recent species of birds and reptiles do not usually have this type of corner anymore due to evolution over the years.
Humans Are Shorter Around Bedtime
Bedtime, which is usually night for most persons, is the period when humans are shorter. Starting from the morning, the body is stretched, and humans are tallest after waking up.
As the day goes by, the spine begins to flatten, resulting in a reduction in height. However, it will be extremely difficult to note a visible change at a close range, and even impossible to spot the difference in height from afar. It’s always a very minimal difference that only a measuring tape can detect.
Our Hearts Are Basically Metronomes
Many people love music, but not all pay attention to the beat of their heart when certain music is on. This could be a good thing to experiment with.
Depending on the beat of a song, the heart can race faster or become slower than it was before the music came on. Some types of music tempo can even affect the blood vessels in the heart. The next time a DJ plays a song, or a song comes on in the buds, pay attention to the beating of the heart.
Our Taste Buds Gets Pretty Weak
At a young age, it’s easy to differentiate between sour, sweet, bitter, and more. However, as the body ages, the thousands of taste buds begin to lose potency.
It starts at an advanced stage in the human. For some persons, the loss of taste starts at about 60 years of age. At this advanced age, the taste buds will not function properly. That is why most of the older folk find it difficult to enjoy meals because they can’t detect the taste entirely.
A Lifetime Supply of Blood Cells
The heart pumps many liters of blood in a day. In just a day, the heart beats 100,000 times, pumping many liters into the body. In total, over the years, considering the average number of years of a human, the total blood pumped amounts to about 200 million liters.
Considering the size of the heart, it’s doing an excellent and amazing job. Additionally, during an exercise, the heart pumps more and faster due to the intensity of the body movement.
Black & White Dreams Back in the Day
Dreams have always had a mixture of reality and other factors. In the 1940s, when black and white television was common in the United States, more than 3/4 of the population reported not seeing color in their dreams.
Most who had dreams claimed it was in black and white. The cause of these dreams was linked to the common television at that time, which was Black and White. In recent years, the cases have reduced greatly because there are now more colored TV sets.
So Much Saliva!
The saliva produced in the mouth equals almost two liters each day. This is an unpopular but stunning fact many are not aware of. Saliva is generated due to several reasons.
For example, when the nose perceives an aroma, this automatically triggers the mouth to produce excess saliva. While eating, the volume of saliva produced is a lot than usual– this excess is used to aid digestion of food.
The Space Travelling DNA
The Deoxyribonucleic acid has spiraled strands that are well packed into the body. This is the memory base for the formation of the human body. DNA is a very important component of life that contains lots of information.
If the entire strands of the DNA are stretched, it will run across the solar system twice! It can be difficult to believe, yet it’s a fact. The solar system is indeed wide, but the DNA strands are detailed and expertly packed not to take space.
The Liver Regrows?
The liver is an internal organ that regrows. The simply means that should a disease affect the liver. It’s easy to rid it of the condition.
The affected part can be cut out — up to 3/4 of it– and the liver will still regrow to its original size. Of all the organs in the body, it is the only one that can regrow. In as much as it is not entirely removed, the remaining will undergo a regrowth to take it back to the full size and also start afresh.
Emotion Changes What Our Tears Are Made Of
Shedding tears of joy, sadness, or fear may seem the same unless the facial expressions help to decipher the exact emotion. However, the amazing thing about tears is that under a microscope, the composition of the tears is also different based on the emotion.
If someone sheds tear out of joy, the composition of the tears is different from the tears-drop caused by sadness or fear. The composition is not obvious to the naked eyes. One would have to analyze the reason by either asking or judging from the situation. Overall, there are three types of tears.
The Mouth Is Full of Bacteria
When people hear “bacteria,” the first thing that comes to mind is — something harmful and dangerous. While this is true to an extent, the body also needs billions of these bacteria to facilitate body processes.
There are many in the mouth because the condition in there is suitable — bacteria thrive well in moist and warm places — which describes the condition of the mouth. In the mouth alone, there are well over 600 types of bacteria present. A lot, right? Well, that’s just the types. In total, these microscopic organisms can number into billions in the mouth alone.
Pregnancy Makes Your Brain Shrink?
A lot of changes occur during pregnancy, some parts of the body grow bigger than usual, and some parts may start reducing. The brain particularly shrinks when a woman is pregnant and returns to the normal size during a period of six months after birth.
This pattern matches with other parts of the body that return to their normal sizes after expanding to a degree. For example, the stomach returns to a small size after birth as true of the feet.
The Cornea Doesn’t Receive Blood
Of all the parts of the body, the cornea of the eyes doesn’t receive oxygenated blood like in other places. It takes direct oxygen from the environment.
This makes it the only body part that doesn’t have blood within. Usually, the blood that spreads across the body has oxygen in it, but the cornea can get its needed oxygen. This is one of the numerous fascinating facts about the body that is unknown to many people.
The Kidney – The Ultimate Blood-Purifier
The blood of an average human is about 8 gallons. In just a day, the entire blood gets purified by the kidney close to 26 times. When measured in liters, this amounts to about 180 liters of blood each day.
Purification is a continuous task that the kidney performs every day. Without the kidney to clean the blood, it would be impossible to stay alive. The blood accumulates impurities a lot, and as such, anything toxic should be filtered before the blood flows back to other parts of the body.
Tumors on Your Teeth?
Tumors are widely known to grow on the skin or internally. However, there are some types of tumors that grow on the hair and teeth. Strange right? Many are not aware of this type of tumor because they rarely develop.
And when they do develop, eradicating them is easy compared to the common types. Surgery is the common procedure to remove Teratoma that grows on the hair. Tumors can degenerate, spreading to various parts of the body unless detected earlier.
The Finger Print Takes Time to Develop
At the developmental stage of an embryo, body parts grow at different times. The entire parts do not grow at the same time. For example, the fingerprint develops 3 months into the pregnancy. After it develops, the prints become permanent and do not change after this period.
The fingerprints are what each individual will have for the rest of their life. It’s unique and despite the over 7 billion of the earth’s population, no fingerprints are the same.
Another interesting fact about the human body is its ability to glow in the darkness. This ability is quite similar to that of fireflies and jellyfish that are also bioluminescent. The human body gives off light in the dark.
As true as this is, it difficult to prove it since the glow is not conspicuous. The natural eye will not be able to detect the glow talk less of seeing it from afar. With the help of some technological devices, the glow is enhanced and visible.
So Many Bones in the Feet
The foot is filled with lots of bones, muscles, ligaments, and lots more. For bones, in particular, the feet alongside the ankle have a lot. There are about 26 bones in this part of the body.
This amounts to about a quarter of the total bones in an adult human. The amount of bone in the feet is reasonable considering the weight it bears– supporting the entire body and helping to maintain balance.
We Get Shorter After 30
Many wonder if it’s possible to become short over time. For those who know, the common question is how? First, the human body can experience a loss in height.
This doesn’t happen at just any time. After the age of thirty, the body loses a few centimeters in height. And this is due to the disc in the vertebrae. The jelly-like fluid in the vertebrae is lost after some time — this causes the disc cushioning it to flatten — resulting in a slight reduction in height. However, it is always difficult to know because it’s little.
Babies Have More Bones?
Babies have more bones than adults at birth. How is that even true? With that small body? Yes, it true and, of course in their tiny body. This fact isn’t talking about the size of bones, rather the number available.
At birth, there are more than 300 bones in the body of a baby. While for an adult, it’s 212 bones. The reason for this is that at birth, some bones are not fused yet. As the baby grows into adulthood, the bones fuse, and the number reduces.
The “Neverending” Heart
Perhaps because the heart is used to beating all day and continuously for years, it keeps beating even after it leaves the body. Usually, this makes transplants possible. The heart doesn’t stop immediately.
It leaves the body, it continues to beat because it doesn’t rely on the brain to function. The heart has a separate electrical system that causes the heart to beat even when detached from the body. However, this will not last for too long. An amazing fact about the human body.
The Scary Enzymes Inside Us
Enzymes do a great job of breaking food down for the body to digest and absorb nutrients. Food ingested is immediately acted on by enzymes right from the mouth.
When a human passes and autolysis begins, these food digesting enzymes also feed on the body at that stage and digest it. This causes the body both internally and externally to disintegrate and starts to gradually decay—a strange and weird fact about the human body.
The Diving Reflex
So many researches have pointed to the aquatic life attributes humans possess. Evidence of this is what happens to the body when immersed in water; certain parts of the body temporarily shut down to conserve energy.
Some physiological modifications occur to this effect. As an addition, it is quite common to hear of babies being able to swim out of instinct. So, although not aquatic in nature, humans have a way of temporarily adapting to the environment.
Mites Live in the Human Eyelashes
Not many know that there are mites in the eyelashes. Demodex is a type of mite that resides in the eyelashes. It’s Microscopic, making it too little to be detected easily. The mite stays in this part of the body close to the eyes.
There are many speculations regarding this mite. One of such is that it’s a possible cause of skin disorders and irritation. Although for the most part, the Demodex is not harmless. The eight-legged organism just stays near the hair follicle and in the skin. Who could have thought there is something like the eyelash mite?
The Body Gets Two Inches Taller in Space
The effect of gravity is different in space. Due to this, it’s possible to grow up two inches taller in space. Some astronauts who have been to space have experienced this.
For example, a particular astronaut who spent 12 months in space was able to add 2 inches. The few inches added is not so glaring except when measured. Perhaps if humans stay longer in space, the increase in height will more noticeable.
Small Intestine? More Like Long Intestine
Despite the name “small intestine” when stretched out the small intestine is quite longer than perceived. To get the picture clergy, if there is an edifice of about 3 floors, the small and large intestine combined length will equal the length of a cord long enough to use as rope.
It’s quite long, but coiled up within the human body. However, like many other body parts that are well arranged internally, the small intestine also has a considerably good length.
Exploding Head Syndrome
Maybe not everyone, but some people hear the sound of an explosion or loud sound while sleeping. The condition is known as the exploding head syndrome. As earlier mentioned, it doesn’t affect everyone.
Only 1/10 of the population is affected by this condition. So, while some people may experience this condition, most persons won’t know what this means. It’s simply a unique condition that further proves the dynamic nature of the human body and the weird but fascinating things humans can experience.
The Fine Dining Obsession
This obsession affects the brain. When it does, the human body starts to develop some weird cravings. Commonly called the Gourmand Syndrome, this condition affects the right anterior brain section.
It usually begins after a part of the head sustains an injury. Its consequence is that the individual will start to develop a craving for fine meals. Such ones will think a lot about nice meals and would prefer to eat such meals over other common types. This is quite a shocking but true human body fact.
There Are More Bacteria in the Body Than Cells
The cells in the body are numerous, numbering billions. Despite the overwhelming number of human cells, there are even more bacteria.
In the mouth alone, there are billions of bacteria, and that is just the mouth. Imagine the combined numbers from other parts of the body. Bacteria play a huge role in human health. Many of the different species of bacteria are being studied, while many are yet to be studied.
The Electric Brain
The brain is always working. It seldom rests– thinking, controlling actions, regulating the body system, controlling sensations, and a myriad of many other things.
The interaction of the brain with the rest of the body involves the transfer of impulses and signals. The signals transfer from the brain to other billions of neurons in the body generate lots of currents. The combination of current can power a low-watt bulb– fascinating right? This body part is quite powerful.
From Back to Front
Many wonder what develops first in an embryo, surprisingly, of all things, the backside is the first. Some would have thought it’s the brain or the heart, but that is not the case.
In fact, the brain doesn’t come second, or the heart– the mouth is the second thing to develop in the embryo. After these two major things, other parts start to grow as the baby develops fully.
Popularly known as broken heart syndrome, this syndrome develops when a human gets emotionally heartbroken; the literal heart feels stressed and may exhibit symptoms similar to that of a heart attack.
There will be a pain in the chest, shortness of breath, and a feeling of heaviness. The condition doesn’t require any serious medical attention. Within a few days or a week, the feeling dicipates gradually.
Body Fat Can Produce More Than 9 Soap Bars
The body has a fat reserve at any given time. On average, the body fat can conveniently make more than 9 soap bars. While everyone has a fat reserve, not all can conveniently make the same amount of soap bars.
This is due to the difference in fat levels for each individual. Some have more fat, and some have less. Not so many people are aware of this, but it’s good to note that everyone has an amount of fat in the body.