Fun Respiratory System Facts: Learn How Your Body System Works and What it Does

Fun Respiratory System Facts: Learn How Your Body System Works and What it Does
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The respiratory system is made up of the lungs, nose, larynx, pharynx, bronchi and trachea. The respiratory system is about more than just breathing – though breathing is important. There are many fun facts about the respiratory system that entertain, educate and amaze.


Human lungs have approximately 1500 miles of airways.

300 million alveoli can be found in a set of human lungs.

The right lung in humans is larger than the left lung in order to accommodate the heart.


The average person breathes in the equivalent of 13 pints of air each minute.

Plants help humans to breathe by taking in the carbon dioxide humans exhale and converting it into oxygen that humans need.

People yawn because the brain detects low levels of oxygen in the lungs and triggers the response so the body will intake a large amount of oxygen.

Hiccups are caused by several things, and are the product of spasms, or sudden movements, in the diaphragm. Eating too fast is one common cause of hiccups.

Guinness World Records lists Charles Osborne from Anthon, Iowa as a record-holder for hiccupping. He hiccupped for 68 years.

Young children laugh an average of 300 times a day, while adults average somewhere between 15 to 100 times.

The saying that ‘Laughter is the best medicine’ may have some truth to it. It is said that laughing helps boost the immune system.


When an irritant such as dust particles come in contact with mucous membranes in the nose, the body gets rid of them by triggering a sneeze.

A human sneeze travels quickly. The fasted sneeze on record was 102 miles per hour in speed.

When a human coughs, the droplets that comes out can travel a distance of up to three feet. This is why people are advised to cover their mouth in the crook of their arm (inner side of elbow) when they cough – so they don’t spread germs to others.

A cold virus can live on inanimate objects for up to three days. When people are sick, its important to do regular cleaning of things such as doorknobs that everyone touches.

Show What You Know

Think you know a lot of fun facts about the respiratory system? Test your knowledge and learn more as you go via a series of respiratory system quizzes at


Your Respiratory System. 2000.

Respiratory System. Hillendale Health

How far does your cough travel? Julie’s Health Blog. Chicago Tribune. November 4, 2008.–1.html

Image Credit

Labeled respiratory system. Ladyofhats. Public domain. Wikimedia commons.