Cells! Just how important are they? Okay, let us put it in the simplest possible fashion. No cells, no life. Does that answer your question about how important cells are? Now that you have a fair idea about what cells mean to every living organism on this planet Earth, we can move ahead and pen down some really interesting cell facts that you should be aware of. Be it a quiz competition or your school project, you will definitely find these facts handy. So, instead of wasting time any further, let us get started…
Interesting Cell Facts: 1-5
1. Everything that has life – from humans to plants to animals to birds to microorganisms – everything is made of cells. Some living organisms can be single-celled while some are multicellular. For example, bacteria are single-celled organisms while trees, birds, animals, humans – they are all multicellular organisms.
2. Now, we know from our scientists worldwide that live just evolved on Earth somewhere in the distant past. For life to evolve, cells were required. So, somewhere in the distant past, the first cell originated on this planet. Just how back in past we are look into? According to speculations of scientists, the first cell originated on Earth some 3.8 billion years ago.
3. Here is something interesting – there are some nonliving objects on earth that are also made of cells but they (those cells) were once living. For instance wood (dead cells of plants), dust in our house (a portion of that contains dead cells), wool, hair, leather (they were also living cells at one point). Things like steel, iron, ceramics, aluminum etc. are not made of cells.
4. There are two primary types of cells – the Eukaryotic cells and the Prokaryotic cells. Difference between the two? Well, here is the difference: Eukaryotic cells have a membrane enclosing a true nucleus. Prokaryotic cells on the other hand do not have a definite nucleus.
5. The first ever cell that originated on Earth was a Prokaryotic cell. Eukaryotic cells later evolved from the Prokaryotic cells.
Interesting Cell Facts: 6-10
6. Cells are really tiny. So tiny that we cannot see them using our naked eyes. We usually need microscope to see those cells. However, exceptions are always there. Nerve cells or neurons that can stretch right up to our toes starting from our hips.
7. Here is something really interesting that you should know. The size of a cell is usually determined by its diameter and not by the length. The usual size of a typical cell in human body can range anywhere between 10 µm and 100 µm (µm stands for micron, which is 1 millionth of a meter or 1 thousandth of a millimeter).
8. The largest cell in human body is approximately 120 µm. It is the female mature egg and the smallest cell in human body is the spermatozoon’s head with the size of 5 µm.
9. Though humans are made of Eukaryotic cells, there are are 200 different types of cells in human body. Yes, Eukaryotic cells have variants.
10. Wondering what are the different types of cells that are present in our body? We can come up with a few names like the nerve cells, bone cells, skin cells, egg cells, etc. Come on, we cannot list all 200 here.
Interesting Cell Facts: 11-15
11. Bacteria are basically cells. But did you know that we carry around 3 to 5 pounds of bacteria on our body. That much bacteria means, the number of bacteria we carry on our body actually vastly outnumber the number of cells we have in our body. Still, these bacteria only make up 3% of our entire body mass. That’s because, bacteria are way smaller than our cells.
12. Talking about the bacteria outnumbering the number of cells in our body, the question is, ‘how many cells do we have in our body? Don’t be surprised! It is 37.2 trillion!
13. Cells are the smallest life units on this planet. They are self-sustaining and they are very much capable of replicating on their own through a process known as cell division.
14. Do you have any idea of how much time human (and animals in general) cells take to complete a cycle of birth and then division to form new cells? 24 hours to be exact. Yes, a cell will take 24 hours to form and then divide to form new cells.
15. The red blood cells present in human body can live up to 120 days approximately. But different types of cells in human body have different lifespan. For example, neurons have the same lifespan as that of the individuals while skin cells for instance can live only for a few weeks.
Interesting Cell Facts: 16-20
16. Approximately 50 billion to 70 billion cells in human body die every single day. Don’t worry! Remember cell division? You are smart! The commonest cells that die on such large scale are blood cells, skin cells a few other types of cells which line up glands and organs.
17. Heard the word ’tissue’? Well, tissues are formed by a number of cells. Again, a number of tissues form an organ. A number of organs actually form a system.
18. We humans, when we take birth, we actually start off as a single cell. Later, when we are born and when we grow up, we have 37.2 trillion cells. Now that’s incredible! Guess what? That number doesn’t include the bacteria and microbes that reside inside our body.
19. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes inside a single cell. That means, there are 46 chromosomes inside a single cell in human body! Imagine how tiny these chromosomes need to be! These chromosomes are actually inside the nucleus of the cell.
20. Apart from chromosomes, a single human cell actually contains a lot more things than we think. There’s Endoplasmic Reticulum, Golgi Apparatus, Mitochondria, Lysosomes, Microtubules, Microfilaments and Peroxisomes. That’s quite a lot for a tiny cell!
Guess what? We are just getting started with cell facts. There are a lot of facts to come through. Give us time and we should be able to give you more facts that you will find immensely interesting unless of course, you hate science. That would be a different story altogether.