Amazing facts

Listen to the conversation about the human body and do the exercises to practise and improve your listening skills.

Instructions

Do the preparation exercise before you listen. Then do the other exercises to check your understanding.

Preparation

Do this exercise before you listen.

Remote audio URL

Transcript

A: Hey, I'm reading this really interesting article about the human body.

B: Yeah? Well, we know all about that from biology lessons.

A: No, we didn't learn much at all at school! They're discovering loads more things all the time. Really amazing things! Did you know that only about one tenth of the cells in your body are really you? The rest are bacteria.

B: What? I'm not really me?

A: No, of course you are you, but you also have millions, or trillions, of bacteria in you.

B: Eeeeuuugh!

A: No, they're mostly really helpful. Someone did an experiment to see if animals can live without bacteria, and he found that a lot of them died or had to have a special diet. Animals need bacteria to digest food, you see. So we're better off with bacteria.

B: Unless the bacteria are bad.

A: Unless they are bad, but they're nearly all good. Oh yeah, and going back to cells, do you know how many cells you have in your body?

B: Quite a lot, I'd say. A good few.

A: Yeah, but how many?

B: I don't know. I'm not mathematical.

A: 7 octillion! That's 7 plus 27 noughts.

B: I knew it was a lot.

A: OK, that's an amazingly huge number, almost impossible to imagine. But the really weird thing is that most of the atoms are empty space, just air or nothingness. And if you took out the empty space, you could fit your body inside a tiny cube which measures one 500th of a centimetre on either side. That's a box measuring 0.002 of a centimetre on each side. You'd be much too small to see.

B: Mmm, I can imagine that. It sounds like something that would happen in a really bad Hollywood movie. You know, a mad scientist goes: (funny voice) 'I'm going to extract all the air from your body'. OK, enough facts for one day.

A: Don't go! One last thing, did you know …

B: No.

A: Did you know that you probably have mites in your eyelashes?

B: Mites in my eyelashes? What are mites exactly anyway?

A: Yeah, they're very small creatures, like insects, only not insects. They're about a third of a millimetre long, so you can't really see them. These particular mites live in eyelashes and eyebrows.

B: But in mine?

A: Well, maybe not. Only about 50% of people have them, and more older people. So you might not have any. Anyway, they're completely harmless, they just eat dead skin.

B: Yeah, right, harmless. I really would have preferred not to know that.

A: Sorry.

B: I mean, really!

Discussion

Do you know any amazing facts about the human body?

Language level
Average: 3.7 (26 votes)
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Comments

Profile picture for user Elisadv

Submitted by Elisadv on Wed, 01/16/2019 - 11:45

It was interesting to listen to the dialog. I knew some facts but it always interesting to find out in foreign language and remind to myself what a wonderful creatures we are - humans. And whitch secrets keeps our body. I think scientists will open a huge of abilities of human's organizm in the future!)

Submitted by Mihael on Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:50

I never heard this fact before, thanks BBC :) Oh ya, in my opinion the most amazing facts is all about the universe, stars, and galaxies. How about you?
Profile picture for user OliviaTomlinson

Submitted by OliviaTomlinson on Fri, 11/16/2018 - 07:11

Really impressive it is too hard study because i am understand basic english its helpful for me and a lot of learning thanks

In reply to by Mihael

Submitted by Dreamyoverflow on Sun, 07/29/2018 - 18:01

Our body can almost take care of every sickness we get for instance if we get a cold we don't neceserey need to treat it, usually our body will treat the disease.

Submitted by ali on Mon, 07/09/2018 - 17:40

video is not playing nor the download link is working.
Profile picture for user JoModerator

Submitted by JoModerator on Tue, 07/10/2018 - 16:27

Hi ali,

There isn't a video on this page - just audio to help you practise your listening.

Have you tried right clicking on the word 'download'? I've just checked it and it works fine for me, so I think the problem must be a local one on your computer.

Can you try on another computer or device, or try a different browser? You can also try to 'clear the cache' on your browser then try again.

I hope that helps!

Best wishes,

Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

In reply to by ali

Submitted by Ostap on Wed, 05/30/2018 - 14:41

oh, you know, amazing information. Never hear it before...thanks :)

Submitted by ocean9 on Sun, 05/27/2018 - 12:07

I didn'n know interesting facts about human body, but now I know that.

Submitted by elleryqueen on Mon, 04/30/2018 - 02:21

I'm interested in the differences between nought and zero. Could you tell me when we should use 'nought' and when we should use 'zero' please?
Profile picture for user Elsa007

Submitted by Elsa007 on Thu, 04/05/2018 - 12:55

Intestinum is the second brain of a human body because it controls immune systems.

Submitted by Sevchik2002 on Wed, 04/04/2018 - 11:06

i think no. i know biology very badly
Profile picture for user Batgirl

Submitted by Batgirl on Tue, 02/27/2018 - 17:22

Unfortunately, I don't know any interesting facts about the human body...

Submitted by anphuonglinh_155 on Wed, 02/21/2018 - 11:25

nothing that I find interesting
Profile picture for user bilko

Submitted by bilko on Sat, 02/03/2018 - 14:59

I read something about atoms.They are formed nucleus and electron. Nucleus is divided proton and neutron. Proton and neutron are consist of quarks and electron is consist of leptons...
Profile picture for user thonganle

Submitted by thonganle on Thu, 01/04/2018 - 15:14

It's very hard to understand these words because i'm really bad Biology
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