Whooshing in your ears
After a long day, you lay your head down on a pillow and—whoosh. That annoying sweeping sound may be blood passing through the jugular vein and carotid artery, both of which are located behind your ear. The noise becomes noticeable when something (like your pillow) blocks external noise. If the sound is present during the day, allergies or infection could be to blame: A congested Eustachian tube, which links the nose and throat to the middle ear, can muffle external sounds. It will typically clear on its own, but a decongestant may help. Check out these strange facts about the human body that you’ve always wondered about.
Don’t worry, all that creaking and cracking doesn’t mean you’re getting old. The neck is a series of paired joints, called facet joints. Each is filled with fluid and surrounded by a capsule, says Albert Wu, MD, director of the Center for Health Services and Outcomes Research at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, MD. “Bending the neck causes the membranes to stretch and pressure to change in those joints,” he says. “The sound is caused when the bubbles collapse, though some think that the sound is caused when the bubbles are created.” Whatever the cause, neck cracking is generally not harmful, but see a doctor if you experience pain—especially if it shoots down one arm. This could signal nerve root impingement, a pressure change of the nerve root that causes pain throughout the limb.
We know this is one of the strange facts about you’re body you’ve always wondered about. That odd, gurgling sound you hear after dinner is air and fluid moving through the digestive tract. If you hear grumbling on an empty stomach, your gut may be cleaning out leftover bits of food and fluid. Or, of course, it could be time to eat: When you’re hungry, the brain sends a signal to the intestines that stimulates the same action. If you experience high-pitched noises with cramping, pain, or nausea, but no bowel movements, get it checked out—it could be partial bowel obstruction, which sometimes requires surgery. These are the scientific explanations behind your quirky body reactions.