Blood – Our Private Universe

milkywayWhile you read this article up to 6 liters of blood are passing through every vessel of your body. Of course, in the states we don’t really do the metric thing. So what does that mean? You have a volume of blood equal to almost 17 cans of Coke (or Pepsi depending on which diner you’re in). You could also say you have a volume of blood equal in weight to six large orders (quarts) of pork fried rice, but I like to keep my takeout preferences separate from matters of science.

What about our red blood cells? A fit, health conscious individual of my height and build (5’6, 175Ibs) can have from 4 to 6 million cells per microliter or 4 to 6 trillion per liter. So 20 microliters of blood would form a drop just large enough to cover up the word “Big” on a page. That single drop of blood holds a red cell population nearly equal to that of Mexico (roughly 120 million). Each one of those red cell hombres y mujeres could be carrying up to 1 billion oxygen molecules. We have six liters of blood and every single cell pulls its own weight. We are a universe within a universe. Stay curious, stay classy, and never stop learning my friends 🙂


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