Gross everyday facts

Just try to forget these 5 disgusting tidbits

By Robert Elsenpeter, Contributing writer
Headline Goes Here iStock / tlnors

Anyone who has ever watched the TV show "Hoarders" is probably drawn by the sheer shock of how those "filthy" people live. But the truth of the matter is, none of us is clean as a whistle.

While we may not live like the folks on "Hoarders," we aren't clean freaks, either. There are horribly disgusting things we live with every day, we just don't notice them.

In fact, if you thought about it too hard, you'd stay in a hot shower, scrubbing yourself until you were raw, and you'd never eat a hot dog again. But that is the goal of this article -- to gross you out.

Sure, there's some educational merit to knowing the kinds of germs and filth in which we exist, but, really, we just want to make you uncomfortable in your own skin.

And there's plenty of reason to be grossed out by your skin ...

No. 5: Your body is crawling with bacteria

What kind of filthy animal allows himself or herself to be covered in bugs? Even if your dog brings them home, it reflects badly on the pet owner who is covered in the parasites. But that's only lazy, dirty people, right?

Not so fast. You may not be crawling with bugs but you yourself are -- at this very minute, in fact -- covered in bacteria.

We're coated, from head to toe as a matter of fact, in the stuff. That's the bad news. The good news is that those bacteria serve a purpose. They're there to improve health and defend against disease.

So the argument is that if we didn't have those critters living on your skin -- and again, to be clear: every... single... solitary inch of it -- we'd have far more health problems, because the bacteria acts as a defense against disease.

Does that make you feel any better? Us neither, but we're just getting warmed up ...

No. 4: Dust is dead skin

One of the cliches of the Army drill sergeant is wiping the tops of lockers and other furniture with white gloves looking for dust. If Sgt. Pain finds even the slightest hint of dust, it's non-stop push-ups for the whole platoon.

But even after you dust something, it doesn't take long for a fine layer of the stuff to accumulate. And if you wait too long between dustings, the stuff really builds up.

The bad news is it's not just dirt that's coating your stuff -- it's you, too.

Household dust is make up of such delightful things as dead skin, hair, waxes, pollen, mold, fungi, particles of fabric, insect parts, and even tiny bits of metal debris from anywhere metal touches other metal (think hinges, for instance).

Mmm! Breathe deep!

No. 3: Trillions of bacteria call your intestines home

We learned how it works in biology 101: You use your teeth to chew food, breaking it down into small bits. Then muscles in your throat push it to your stomach where it is digested as it works its way through the digestive system. But there's more.

Once food gets into the large intestine, bacteria goes to work on it, breaking it down so your body can use it. The stuff is actually good for you, because they help fend off "bad" bacteria that are trying to create infections.

And the bacteria are part of a team -- one little critter can't do it alone. In fact, there are about 100 trillion cells from up to 1,000 different species alive and thriving in your intestines.

So how big are 100 trillion bacteria cells? If you were to weigh them all, they'd weigh about 2.2 pounds.

Enough to turn your stomach, huh? But you haven't seen nothing yet ...

No. 2: Your urine is cleaner than your saliva

If you're not sitting, please do so now. OK. Now, brace yourself.

Fresh urine is cleaner than spit or skin, because urine does not hold any bacteria. That's right: Urine is sterile.

Urine only gets bacteria in it if someone has a bladder infection or it gets exposed to air for a long time. Otherwise, it's the cleanest fluid in the world.

So this leads to the natural next question: Is it safe to drink your own urine? Experts -- and Tyler Durden -- say it's OK. And if you've ever watched "Man Versus Wild," you'll know that Bear Grylls practically lives on the stuff.

There are complications to drinking your own urine -- and we're not doctors, or we'd probably be off saving lives or playing golf somewhere rather than writing these articles -- so we're not suggesting you do it, but if you're so inclined ...

No. 1: Your food contains more than food

By now, hopefully you've come to terms with all the creepy crawlies that you share with your body. Regrettably, there's more nastiness in your food that is plenty alarming.

"Surely the Food and Drug Administration is looking out for me," we hear you say. You'd like to think that, wouldn't you? Actually, it is ... to some degree. But there are tons of stuff the FDA allows in foods that could inspire a hunger strike.

Such as? Here's some of the stuff the FDA allows:

  • Insect eggs and maggots. The FDA allows more than 20 or more maggots per 100 grams of mushrooms.
  • Rodent hair. Peanut butter can contain up to 1 hair per 100 grams.
  • Insect parts. There can be up to 325 insect fragments per 10 grams of ground thyme.
  • Parasites. There can be up to 60 parasitic cysts per 100 fish.

Of course, this is all organic, so it's safe. Now, chow down!

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