Body Shop

The first infographic shows all the ingredients that I am composed of. As the image shows, the chemical elements are listed in ascending order of quantity. For example, it states that I contain 117.5lb of Oxygen, 43.5lb of Carbon, 19.0lb of Hydrogen, 5.0lb of Nitrogen. These are only some of the elements that are listed. Along with the chemical elements and how much of each makes up of my body, the elements also have a price tag. The highest one being $1,039 for the 19 pounds of Hydrogen that I consist of. The second highest is the 43 pounds of Carbon that is approximated to be worth about $475. The total price tag for the chemical elements that make up my body comes out to $2,529.

Some insight of how these values are computed is found on their website as well. To compute these values, they first took the percentage of each chemical element in the human body by mass and multiplied it by my body mass to get the mass of each element in my body. They then multiplied this figure by the price of each element per mass unit (using prices for pure, laboratory-grade elements) to find how much each element within me is worth. Finally, they added all these values up to retrieve a total ‘price tag’. More than 40% of this is accounted for by a single element – hydrogen.

The atomic theory section states how many atoms are there in my body and it shows that I contain 8.7 octillion atoms. They then provide a comparison to the stars in the universe which are approximately 100 octillions. If the size of my atoms were compressed, my body would be the same size as a red blood cell! The third section displays which trace elements can be found in my body. It lists the elements and then categorizes them under toxic, radioactive, and precious. An interesting fact was that there’s a tiny amount of gold present in my body. However, the amount is so minimal that it would take 109,075 of me to make just 1oz. Another interesting fact was that the gold found in the earth’s crust is the same concentration as what’s found in my body.

Some of the other information that is presented is the composition of elements in me, the trace elements that are present, and how many atoms there are in my body. The matchmaker informs the user of which elements they contain in their body and gives an object that they can compare it with. For example, it displays that I contain 6oz of potassium and that this is roughly comparable to 411 bananas. The way they figured this out is that they first found the percentage of each chemical element in the human body by mass and then multiplied it by my body mass to get the mass of each element in my body. They then calculated how much iron there is in a nail, sodium in a teaspoon of salt and made some informed assumptions about object sizes and element concentrations. To work out how many of each object we could make with the mass of each element in your body, they divided the amount in my body by the amount in each object.

Ingredients of me

Matchmaker

The matchmaker section gives us a preview of what I can make with the elements in me. Given the element composition, it provides us with a fun fact which is that the 34ox of phosphorus that is in my body can make roughly 4.8 million matches.

Atomic Theory

The atomic theory shows us how many atoms are there in my body. A fun fact that we see right away is that I have 8.7 octillion atoms in my body while there are 100 octillion stars in the universe.

Digging for Gold

This section shows which trace elements can be found in my body and displays which ones are toxic, radioactive, and precious. An interesting finding is that the amount of gold in my body is so little that it would take 109,075 of me just to make 1oz! However, the concentration of gold found in the earth’s crust is the same as the trace found in my body.

Body Count

The body count section mainly shows how many cells I have in my body and how they are distributed and categorized. The main figure that is given is that I have 43.1 trillion cells in my body while there are only 0.1 trillion stars in the milky way. This comparison really helps picture the difference and the amount cells that my body contains. Hovering over the biggest circle, it shows that more than 70% of my cells consist of red blood cells. It also states that if these red blood cells were laid end to end, they’d stretch out to 152,241 miles – which is 64% of the distance from the earth to the moon. The way this was worked out was that they estimated around 10 and 100 trillion cells in my body and this was just cells, ignoring microbes. They then came up with a rough figure by dividing my body mass in kilograms by two and multiplying that result by a trillion. That was followed by applying the percentage of cells by tissue type from this study to this rough total to get an approximation breakdown. For the moon calculation, they approximated each red blood cell to be around 8 micrometers long.

The human hard drive shows how much data is stored in my DNA and approximates that I am carrying around 80 MB. In comparison, a USB stick contains a 1000 MB of digital data. It also shows that in my lifetime, I will produce around 2.6 trillion sperm and that the genetic information in these sperm is around 2 billion terabytes. This is huge in comparison to the 900 million terabytes that contains the global internet traffic. To calculate this data, they looked at the data stored in sperm and multiplied the approximate number of sperm produced per lifetime by the amount of genetic data in each sperm.

Some other interesting facts that this section displays is that I am carrying 100 trillion microbes and that their weight is more than the weight of my brain. This was calculated by taking the number of called in my body and then approximating that there are around 100 trillion microbial cells in the human body and they are made up around 1-3% of my body mass. In here, it was assumed to be 2%. We have around 20,000 protein-coding genes, compared to the 2 million unique bacterial genes in my microbiome. The brain and liver weights are calculated using the method described in the previous section. The last section shows that I have 5 million hair follicles and the heaviest density lies on my forehead at an astounding 377 follicles per inch.

Mini Me

Sweat the Small Stuff

This shows that I have a total of 5 million hair follicles and 4.8 are on my body, not on my scalp, eyebrows, or eyelashes. The heaviest density lies in my hair follicles which have a density of 377 follicles per inch.

Fellow Travellers

Fellow travelers refer to the microbes that I am carrying, and this figure is approximated to be 100 trillion. Noticeably, my microbes weigh in at 3.8 pounds, which is heavier than what my brain weighs and slightly lower than the weight of my liver.

Human Hard Drive

The human hard drive displays the amount of data that is stored in my DNA. My DNA is around 800 MB and in comparison, a USB stick contains around 1000 MB of data. A lifetime approximates of sperm produced is also displayed and is said to be 2.6 trillion.

Body Size

The body size section looks at the weight and measures the different parts of my body. For example, some of the noticeably larger chunks consist of muscle, which weigh in at 71.7 pounds and make up 38% of me. The second largest chunk is the body and fat and other organs, and this weighs in at 56.8 pounds and makes up 30% of me. An interesting fact here was that there’s a false idea that the soul weighs 21 grams or 0.04 pounds. This idea came from a US doctor who found that his patients were 21 grams lighter after death and concluded that this was because the soul had left the body. The way this information was worked out was that they predicted the approximate mass of my organs and tissues based on my body mass, age and sex. To do this, they used equations published in scientific papers derived from US autopsy records. They used 7.5g as the average weight of an eyeball but once again, this is not going to be the same for everyone. The ‘body fat and other organs’ includes body, fat, connective tissues and all other body parts, and is calculated as my body mass minus the sum of the mas for my other organs and tissues. They state that this should not be taken as a reliable indicator of my body fat percentage.

One of the other sections display how much water is in my body. We always hear that the human body consists of 70% water, but this depends on the person’s weight and can range from 50% to 75%. Given my weight, it shows that 56% of me is water and that this comes out to almost 1700 fl oz. It also has a chart to show which part of me is most watery and the as expected, my blood is the wateriest with 83% water. Given that my height is 69 inches, another section gives a rough idea of how tall my large and small intestines are. Another fun fact that is included is that the DNA in just one of my cells, laid end to end is 87 inches. This was determined by calculating my skin surface area based on my height and weight, and my small intestine length was calculated by my height. The DNA length per cell is calculated from the length of one base pair multiplied by the 3.2 billion base pairs in the human genome, multiplied by two, because most cells have two sets of chromosomes, and the result is 2.2m of DNA per tiny cell.

The space inside discusses how much room my organs take. My lungs, while breathing in, takes up a volume of 241in3. In comparison, a basketball takes up 435in3 in volume. They calculated the volume of my organs from their weight and assumed an average human tissue density to be 1.05g/cm3. The lung volume was calculated by adding lung tissue volume to the volume of air inside my lungs when full inflated. The exact method used to calculate the lung capacity was once again dependent on the age, height and sex and information that was published in scientific papers.

Pounds of Flesh

Body of Water

The body of water section simply displays how much of me is water and which part of me is most watery.

Stretch Out

The stretch out section displays how much space I would take up if my DNA was to be laid from end to end or how tall my intestines would be, compared to me (if unwound).

Space Inside

Space inside shows how much room my organs take up and displays them in comparison to a basketball and a tennis ball, so the user is quickly able to mentally picture the ratios.

Body Builder

The body builder sections show how much my body has grown and what it has produced and especially what functions it has carried out. The main section displays how long my cells are built to last and when they will be replaced. The shortest life span is of the white blood cells that will be replaced in 3 days. The stomach cells last a little longer at 5 days. Some of the longer lasting cells are the eye lens cells that last a lifetime and are never replaced. Fat cells in my body are replaced in 2,920 days. There’s also a preview of how many times I have replaced my cells. The largest figure is for the white blood cells that have been replaced 2,852 times while my fat cells have only been replaced thrice.

This information was calculated by observing that cells are constantly being replaced and that cell turnover time is the lifetime of each cell. They used this data on cell turn over time for different cell types. Not all cells are replaced, however. For example, the cell sin the lens of your eye cannot repair themselves when damaged and therefore the body cannot replace them. The outer layer of the skin refers to the epidermis and the figure that is mentioned refers to cells that are replaced in that region.

Some of the other sections that are present are, cutting room, body clocks, and bodily functions. The cutting room simply displays how much my hair has grown. It shows that hair on my head has grown to about 9 feet in a lifetime while the record for the longest hear hair is a staggering 18 feet and 4 inches. They calculated this by observing the average growth rate since birth and multiplied it by my age. It also shows how much my nails have grown since birth and this was calculated using an average rate of growth as well. An interesting fact was that the longest recorded nail was 2 ft 11 in. The body clocks section simply shows how many heartbeats I have experienced or how many times I have blinked. It also shows a steady rate of how many times I am doing that action each minute. The bodily functions section shows how many liquids, solids, and gasses I have produced and compares it to familiar objects. For example, it states that I have produced enough solids to fill a portable toilet up to 49%.

Die Another Day

Cutting Room

This mini section gives a visual on how much my hair is grown (in different areas of my body) and how it compares to each of the parts. It also displays how much my nails have grown and compares it to the longest recorded nail.

Bodily Functions

Bodily function shows how much liquids I have produced and what these liquids consist of. It also displays how much solids and gases I have produced.

Body Clocks

Body clocks provides a visual on how many times I have experienced a heartbeat or blinked and gives a rate for each minute.

Vital Statistics

This section summarizes the different statistics that were found in the previous sections. Some of the main elements are that I have more Oxygen than Carbon and more muscle than fat. My heart weighs three times more than my stomach and the total hair grown measures almost twice as me in length. My DNA contains 800 megabytes worth of data and I have 5 million hair follicles. With all these components, my estimate worth is $2,529.


Ending thoughts: Most of this data was collected through scientific papers and journals. This information was used to set a baseline for certain measurements so that the other elements could be computed based on that. All the visualizations are unique and provide a terrific way to visualize the material and also helps the user compare the data to regular, everyday objects. This data isn’t really meant to be used for anything other than a simply visualization tool. It helps gain perspective on what’s inside one’s body and how much material is created, replaced inside the body. There are no particular answers that one can find with this tool since most of the computations are based on approximations and users can easily create duplicate data if they are simply the same age, sex, height and weight. However, despite this, the information is well presented and really helps the user gain perspective.

Additional Analysis

What works?
The main purpose of this visualization is to give users a perspective on what certain elements in their body look like. It also provides a visual for each element that corresponds in size with how much of that element is found in the body. In addition, the sections are clearly organized and labelled so that the users know what they are looking at.

What needs improvement?
Some of the things that could use improvement in this visualization is the way the information is portrayed. Some of the information isn’t useful at all, such as comparing the liquid in my body to how many portable toilets it can fill. I believe that some of the information given could be compared in a different manner where the user is able to understand the comparisons easily. Another improvement that this visualization could use is to make the graphics and information more interactive to the user. Currently, the visualization takes input from the user and creates static pages with little animation.

Who are the users? What can they ask?
The users for this infographic can be the general audience. Since this information isn’t technically scientific, nor can it be helpful in the medical field, it cannot be helpful to professionals. However, the general audience can ask questions based on how this information was calculated and the website provides great details as to how they analyzed this data. The reason I chose this visualization is because it provides a unique perspective on what elements make up my body. The way this information is presented is organized and each section is clear in its explanation as to what the information means and how it was calculated.