Tuesday, June 19, 2012

the one about sperm

first of all, let me start out with a *big huge disclaimer*: sometimes when i completely immersed in a class, i morph into the world's biggest nerd. i think the things i'm learning are so cool. like so cool that i just have to tell everyone about them and blog about them. and then i tuck away my little factoids for later nerd opportunities.

okay, now that my disclaimer is out there, i learned the coolest thing in anatomy today! 

it's about how RARE and UNIQUE each of us really are!

it all starts when mommy and daddy are trying to have a little baby.

daddy lets loose 100,000,000 - 200,000,000 little spermies at a time. now, in order for you to get made, said spermie has to find mommy's big old egg (literally, the eggs are as old as the female is. we are born with them!). let's outline all of the ways this miraculous fertilization process gets difficult.

  • upon contact, half of the little swimmers DIE. just because it's so dang acidic and they can't handle it. talk about sperm genocide - about 100,000,000 deaths in the first few moments of their little adventure.
  • next obstacle: getting past the vagina. unfortunately, the vagina has these microscopic ridge-y things called rugae that make it so that the little sperms get LOST. seriously though, to a tiny little sperm, those rugae are probably like mount everest. i'd get lost, too.
  • sperm's other problem: they try to fertilize whatever the heck they come in contact with. yeah. so, it turns out that a lot of sperm will be misguided and run into mommy's white blood cells (you know, the ones trying to kill "foreign cells"). they try to fertilize the WBCs, only to fail miserably. poor little guys.
  • yet another physical obstacle! the end of uterine tube (where actual fertilization takes place) has all these finger-like extensions called fimbriae. think like the fringe end of a rug, except tiny. a large amount of our sperm friends get STUCK in the fimbriae. whoops.
  • okay, so now we're left with the chosen ones. they braved the elements, proving themselves worthy to approach the egg. only problem - there's only ONE egg. and only ONE sperm can get there first. so even if one sperm gets there .000001 seconds earlier, all subsequent sperms WILL DIE. it's like magic.

so just think about it: if another sperm beat the lucky sperm that made you who you are by even .00001 seconds, you would be a completely different person!!

isn't that sooooo cool?!!? 

oh man, this class might bring out the nerd in me.

also, please enjoy this overly cheesy cartoon i found. :)

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