The Incredible, Adaptable Human Body

April 16, 2009 | By | Comments (0)

I know this is sort of a strange and slightly macabre "health" post, but when my dad had his gallbladder removed recently I couldn't stop thinking about just how many organs humans have that we can actually live quite happily without!

Seriously, the list is shockingly long, and while no one would want to go without one, two or all of these, it's still sort of a marvel of human adaption to contemplate this (probably still incomplete!) list.

1. Tonsils/Adenoids
2. Spleen
3. Gallbladder
4. One kidney
5. Thyroid
6. Uterus
7. Ovaries
8. Prostate
9. Appendix
10. One lung

Of course, in more dire circumstances you can certainly live with just part of a pancreas, liver, colon, or stomach, and there are brain surgeries that also remove chunks of brain matter too.

And what's crazier is that if you ask around, almost everyone has had something or other removed these days (tonsils are really common).

The concept of some organs as vestigial (i.e. tonsils or even wisdom teeth which I didn't include in my list) is hotly debated, particularly amongst the two sides in the creationist versus evolution camps.

What organs have you already said good-bye to?

And here's a weird post-script: I think that when my dad had his infected gallbladder taken out he actually asked the doctor if he could get it back. I have no idea what happened with that. Most likely it went to a lab for testing and then to a medical waste disposal area. At least I hope. I might just go home one day and find it sitting on the kitchen windowsill.