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I love basically anything Mary Roach writes — she makes any scientific topic feel fascinating. Gulp is all about the digestive system and I learned things I never knew about how my insides work. Did you know:

  • We process sights 10 times as fast as smells.
  • Cats only eat meat and those in the wild only eat one kind of meat — either fish or birds, not both. (Which is weird, because my Emily always loved eating grass.)
  • The average human only eats about 30 foods on a regular basis.
  • We have taste receptors in our stomachs, voice boxes and upper esophaguses, but only the ones in our tongues actually report back to the brain (which is probably good).
  • A healthy adult has a brand new stomach lining every three days.
  • The average adult farts 22 times a day.

And the book has way more fun facts of this kind.

I am the sleep drunkest person ever. I am a sleep lush. This morning, my alarm clock went off, loudly and about 2 feet away from my head, for seven whole minutes before I realized what it was. I remember thinking, groggily and maybe still half dreaming, “Oh my god, that is so annoying, I wish someone would turn it off!!!” And then I was like, “Wait, I can turn it off!”

Also, one time I woke up and hallucinated in the dim light that there was a giant spider on my bed. It was the only time I have seen an illusion like that — it was so vivid. I grabbed a tissue and tried to smash the spider multiple times and was so confused when no bug guts appeared on the tissue. So, either I was sleep drunk or my apartment is haunted by ghost spiders.