The foot is undoubtedly one of the most under-appreciated parts of the human body. At the same time, it’s also one of the most overworked parts of the human body. You’ve probably never realized that in just one day, the average person’s feet are involved in taking 8,000 to 10,000 steps. That’s according to the American Podiatric Medical Association (AMA) who have done the math and calculated that these daily steps add up to four trips around the world in one lifetime. Here are some interesting – and a few fun and funky – facts about the human foot.
Our Two Feet Account for Approximately 25% of All the Bones in Our Bodies
This works out to twenty-six bones per foot. Babies have more “bones” in their bodies than adults, but these bones are mostly cartilage. They don’t completely harden until around age twenty-one, but by age twelve, a child’s foot is about 90 percent of its adult length. For more information on children’s feet read this Live Science article. And, here’s an interesting link if you want more facts about the human skeletal system.
The First Prosthesis was Made in Egypt
Researchers at the University of Manchester (England) studying a female mummy believe that the ancient Egyptians developed the first functional prosthesis, an artificial big toe. They surmise that Egyptians with artificial toes would have found it much easier to walk around in sandals if their natural toes were missing.
There’s a Guinness World Record for the Most Fingers and Toes
Being born with extra fingers and toes isn’t particularly uncommon. This condition is called polydactyly and out of 1,000 babies, 2.3 boys and 0.6 girls are affected. The “honor” for the polydactyl record goes to Akshat Saxena from northern India who came into the world with ten toes on each of his feet and seven fingers on each hand, making a grand total of thirty-four digits. Polydactyly is often corrected by surgical procedures to remove the extra digits, as was reportedly done with little Akshat.
Your Two Feet Contain a Total of 250,000 Sweat Glands
It’s a lot of sweat glands for such a small area of the body, so it’s no wonder that our feet put out approximately half a pint of perspiration daily. It also explains why our sweaty feet can generate that funky smell. Some people suffer from excessive sweating of the feet; a condition called hyperhidrosis. Here’s an interesting article if you want to learn more about sweat and the human body.
There was Once an Exhibition of Foot Cheese in Ireland
Our sweaty, warm feet are perfect homes for bacteria. These bacteria feed on dead skin cells and produce acids and gases that result in those arresting foot odors. The Irish discovered that foot bacteria are also good for cultivating cheese. In 2013, an event in Dublin displayed several cheeses made using bacteria obtained from people’s feet, armpits, and belly buttons. Delicious? We don’t know, because we understand that no one actually ate any of the cheeses.
Seventy-Five Percent of Americans will Suffer from Foot Problems During Their Lifetimes
An average walking day subjects your feet to forces totaling several hundreds of tons, so it’s a mistake to regard your feet as unimportant. The design of our feet is essential to enable us to walk upright and hoofing it on two feet is a defining feature of humanity. Here at Rocky Mountain Foot & Ankle, we are always interested in fun facts about feet, but having feet that hurt is not fun. So, when you are suffering from one of the many varieties of foot problems that affect the human foot, we know how to help you. Make an appointment with us today.