15 Things You Never Knew About Sperm
Sperm, it's pretty super. Here are 15 mind-blowing facts about the amazing little wrigglers.
Sperm, it's pretty super. Here are 15 mind-blowing facts about the amazing little wrigglers...
1. Sperm and semen are different things
The fluid that's ejaculated is called semen and it contains sperm, amongst other things. Got it?
2. Sperm was first discovered in 1677 by a Dutch microscope maker
The circumstances leading up to the momentous discovery are unknown.
3. But it's a good job he had a microscope to hand: sperm are about 0.005cm long and invisible to the naked eye
4. Not all sperm swim in a straight line
In fact, only about 50 per cent know where they're headed. The others swim around in circles, or just go with the flow (of semen), man.
5. Men produce sperm all day, every day, every day of their lives
While women are born with all the eggs they'll ever have...
6. The average man produces 1,500 sperm cells a second
Wowzers. However, it takes about two months for a sperm to go from being created to being able to fertilise an egg. Sperm growth is like a constant production line in a man's testicles.
7. If a man could get all his sperm from one ejaculation to line up end to end he’d have a line six miles long
But why would he want to do that?
8. A man's body keeps sperm at a temperature three and a half degrees Celsius lower than the rest of his body
To help keep sperm cool, don't work with your laptop in your lap, despite what it's called.
9. Ninety per cent of the sperm that leave the body are deformed
They could have two heads, two tails, the wrong shape tail... Guess we've just worked out which sperm are the ones that end up swimming around in circles.
10. Only one sperm from the 200 million produced per ejaculation will go on to fertilise a woman's egg
Sorry, all the other sperm.
11. The average ejaculation would fill half to two-thirds of a teaspoon, and contains about seven calories
Make of that what you will.
12. Sperm wear a sort of hat: an oval-shaped structure called the acrosome
It contains chemicals that are released once the sperm attaches to the egg to melt the egg's outer surface, drilling a hole so that the sperm can penetrate the egg to release its genetic cargo. Cor – go sperm.
13. A sperm doesn't have to be alive to fertilise an egg
When babies are made the old fashioned way, sperm need to be able to swim up to the egg. However, if an egg is fertilised using IVF technology, the sperm can be dead and still do the fertilisation deed as all the egg is interested in is the DNA inside the sperm. Isn't technology amazing?
14. Although babies are wonderful things, a woman's body will do all it can to protect itself against the invasion of sperm
This includes trying to beat the sperm away with tiny hair cells in the tubes connecting the uterus and the ovaries.
15. Sperm can live inside a woman's body for up to five days
This means that there is no safe time to have sex without using protection if you really don't want to make a baby. Think on.
- By Georgina Terry
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