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Do You Believe These Claims?

Consider these "claimed" facts relative to the human body (U.S.-based):

  1. When two years of age, doubling a child's height provides a "close" estimate of his/her final adult height.
  2. In six months, each fingernail and toenail will grow the length of its base to its tip.
  3. Thought it accounts for only 2% of our body weight, the brain uses 20% of our oxygen supply, 20% of our eaten calories, and 15% of our blood supply.
  4. The adult body has 650 muscles, more than 100 joints, and 50,000 miles (yes miles!) of blood vessels/capillaries.
  5. The heart beats more than 2.8 billion times during an average life span, pumping 60 million gallons of blood.
  6. While one is asleep, their heart pumps about 80 gallons of blood per hour, enough to fill a small car car's gas tank every 9-10 minutes.
  7. If the lung's 300 million alveoli (little air sacs) were flattened out, they would cover an area of about 1000 square feet.
  8. Our largest organ is our skin, which for a man covers about 20 square feet and for a woman covers about 17 square feet.
  9. Our skin flakes away and is replaced every four weeks, implying that over a lifetime a person sheds about 105 pounds of skin and wears about 1000 new "skin outfits."
  10. Each night while at rest, your body height increases by about 0.3 inches, then shrinks down during the day.
  11. Over one's lifetime, the average person eats more than 50 tons of food and drinks more than 13,000 gallons of liquid.

Your Task: Devise experiments to test the validity of the claims #1, #2, #10, and #11. Also, think about the others in terms of their implications....or how they could be tested.

Source: Adapted from Reader's Digest Book of Facts, 1987, p. 194.