10 Respiratory System Facts That Will Make You Gasp

The respiratory system is a marvelous group of organs keeping us alive. It’s what allows the entry of oxygen inside our body and processes it to keep us going. We’re almost always aware of our breathing. An action as simple as taking air in and exhaling it has complex mechanisms behind it as well as extraordinary after-effects. 

Our lungs, diaphragm, trachea, as well as the tiny little balloons called alveoli that do the majority of the respiratory work — they’re nothing short of a wonder. We’ve been learning the basics of breathing since school. Let’s delve deeper into some facts that we may have missed, that magnify our wonderful respiratory system! 

  1. Remember when we used to think that the speed of our sneeze is almost comparable to that of a train? Well, that was completely wrong! Researchers have found that our sneezes have a very low speed of just around 16 km/h.
  2. The Guinness World Record for longest free dive is held by a man who held his breath underwater for 22 minutes. For comparison, an average man can hold his breath for just about a minute.
  3. You don’t just exhale carbon dioxide, but also water! 
  4. The lower respiratory tract has an abundance of bacteria, both good and bad ones. 
  5. Common cold is extremely common. It’s so common that nearly 200 types of viruses can cause the common cold! 
  6. Snakes live with just one lung! 
  7. Your nostrils exchange the load of breathing every 30 minutes. 
  8. A newborn needs about 10 seconds immediately after birth to take its first breath, because their lungs are filled with fluids. 
  9. Apart from humans, cats and horses are also very prone to develop asthma. 
  10. Lungfish (as the name suggests) can be a missing link between sea and land creatures — they have gills as well as lungs in them! 

Our brain is very sensitive to the oxygen levels of our body, and monitors the respiratory system very closely. As we develop the world around us for our ease, we also give way to more and more air pollutants to enter our body. Many respiratory diseases and conditions can be avoided if we exercise regularly and practise deep breathing activities like yoga. It is our responsibility to find the balance within ourselves, so we can enjoy our progress without compromising our health. 


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