Eight Things Your Probably Didn’t Know About Your Lungs

  1. Non-Stop Work: Even when you’re asleep, your lungs are very, very busy. By the time the day is done, your lungs have taken over 20,000 breaths. By the time you reach the age of fifty, your respiratory system has taken in an astounding 400 million breaths.
  2. Going Dry: When you exhale, you’re not just emitting air. According to a 2012 study, humans exhale 17.5 milliliters of water each hour from their lungs.
  3. Bigger and Smaller: Strange as it might sound, your two lungs are not the same size; your left lung is actually somewhat smaller than its adjacent counterpart. This is because your heart needs the space in your chest.
  4. In and Out: Generally speaking, the air that enters our respiratory system is composed of about 21 percent oxygen. Of that figure, the respiratory system uses just 5 percent, with the rest being expelled back into the air.
  5. Going Fast: Women breathe at a faster rate than men. The same thing goes for children.
  6. Constant Traffic: Every minute, your body breathes in an average of thirteen pints of air.
  7. Taking Up Space: How big are human lungs? Believe it or not, if the lungs were spread flat across the ground they would roughly equal the size of a tennis court.
  8. Getting A Push: The reason our chest expands and contracts during breathing has nothing to do with the lungs themselves. Rather, the diaphragm muscle shrinks and pushes downward while we inhale. When we breathe out, this muscle moves northward and expands.

Related Stories


From snowstorms to increasingly short days, there are plenty of reasons to dislike winter. Likewise, evidence suggests that increased …


1) When we “multitask,” the brain is actually switching its focus very quickly between two different tasks. 2) Water …