Remarkable things about your body

Each of us is unique but sometimes in more ways than is immediately obvious. Most of us have the same number of limbs, two eyes, two ears and a mouth, but we are likely to have other bodily features and traits that set us apart from the crowd. How many of the following body details or abilities do you have?

You don’t need much sleep
Like Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher, those with the specific variant of the BHLHE41 gene are resistant to the effects of sleep deprivation, according to Requiring around two hours’ sleep less than the average person, while still achieving a full night’s rest allows these people to sleep less and work more.

You have ‘golden blood’
Rh-null or ‘golden’ blood is special because anyone can receive transfusions from this blood regardless of their own blood type. The healing properties of your golden blood are better than any other blood types, as golden blood has no antigens. You are in rarified company, with fewer than 50 people in the world sharing your blood type. It was first identified in an Aboriginal Australian woman in the early 1960s.

You can survive at high altitudes
If you are of Tibetan lineage, you are genetically mutated for high altitudes. Tibetan sherpa genes contain codes for a protein that responds to falling oxygen levels which has been linked to improved performance in endurance athletes.

You have red hair
A genetic mutation causes red hair in around 1–2 per cent of the world’s population. And redheads are also more likely to be left handed as both red hair and left handedness come from recessive genes. However, you’re also likely to be more sensitive to pain, because your red hair has a gene mutation (MC1R) linked to pain receptors.

You have a hair whorl or curly hair
Less than 10 per cent of people have counter-clockwise hair whorls, while only 11 per cent of the population have naturally curly hair.

Your bones are hard to break
The LRP5 gene mutation gives you extremely dense bones that are difficult to break and skin that is less prone to ageing. The only downside to your condition is that you may have issues with joint replacement as you age.

You have a second row of eyelashes
It’s a disorder or defect that may also become part of your unique beauty. Distichiasis is a congenital or acquired condition where you possess two layers of eyelashes. Elizabeth Taylor had it, so you’re very lucky!

You have palmaris longus
Thought to be a remnant from earlier in our evolution, palmaris longus is a tendon that was used for climbing trees. You can check if you have this tendon by placing your arm palm-side up on a flat surface, then pressing your thumb and pinky together. If a large tendon pops out, you have a palmaris longus.

You have a preauricular sinus
This tiny hole on or near your ear is thought to be another vestigial feature from evolution, a remnant of gills.

You suffer from photic sneeze reflex
As is the case with around 25 per cent of all people, you may have an unusual reaction to sunlight: sneezing.

You have a Morton’s toe
Depending on your perspective, you can view your feet as having a large second toe, or a small big toe. Ten per cent of people, including the Statue of Liberty, have feet with a first toe that is shorter than the second.

You see more colours than most people
The majority of us are born as trichromats, meaning we have three cones in our eyes to identify colour. People who are colourblind only possess two cones, but tetrachromats have four cones allowing them to view the world much more vividly.

Your eyes can pop out
This rare condition, known as globe luxation, makes your eyes effectively pop out of your head. Although some might consider this quite the party trick, causes of this unusual condition can be serious, including thyroid eye disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

You have an outie belly button
The old wives’ tale that your ‘innie’ or ‘outie’ belly button is due to how the umbilical cord was cut is untrue. Many of us assume that we’ll have a 50 per cent chance of one or the other, but in reality only about 4 per cent of adults have an ‘outie’. These are mainly due to umbilical hernias.

Your eyes are different colours
A harmless condition called chimerism whereby you have an extra set of DNA which can lead to the exotic feature known as heterochromia – eyes of different colours.

Your eyes are not brown
The most common eye colour in the world is brown, and it’s shared by 79 per cent of people worldwide. But having blue (8 per cent), hazel (5 per cent), amber (5 per cent) or green (2 per cent) will set you apart.

Your heart is in the wrong place
You may be one of 12,019 people with the congenital anomaly called dextrocardia where your heart is on the right side of your chest.

So, how many of these features do you have? I have four of them: red, curly hair with green eyes and a Morton’s Toe. What about you?

Related articles:
Your family genetics
Obesity leads to breast cancer
What causes Alzheimer’s disease

YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices Writers
YourLifeChoices' team of writers specialise in content that helps Australian over-50s make better decisions about wealth, health, travel and life. It's all in the name. For 22 years, we've been helping older Australians live their best lives.
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