You may think you’re good at multitasking, but no one can do two things at once quite like a reindeer. These animals are able to eat and sleep at the same time. Isn’t that the dream?!
The Reason Why
Summer is very short in the Arctic, which means reindeer don’t have a lot of time to store food for the long winter months. Therefore, they store up all the fat they can during summer – and that’s pretty much all they do in those months. Reindeer are so busy eating in the summer months, that they don’t pause to sleep – they just do it at the same time.
What the Experts Say
Neuroscientist Melanie Furrer of the University of Zurich explains that reindeer manage to live in an area with such long winters by “being able to ruminate and sleep at the same time, to save time in the summer.” If you’re having trouble wrapping your head around this concept, don’t feel alone. But as sleep physiologist at the University of Oxford, Vladyslav Vyazovskiy explains, “We need to be open-minded that there is not just one kind of sleep, the way that humans sleep, but there are other ways to sleep.”
Between this and meeting Santa, it seems that reindeer are living the dream!
As children, most people shared a moment of learning about the perilous perils of ingesting chewing gum and that this act could be dangerous. According to playground logic, swallowing gum was bad for the body, and swallowing too much of it could have dire consequences.
Chewing Gum Is Not Dangerous
Luckily, this is just the logic of the playground and it is complete nonsense. It turns out that the playground is not filled with great information about the world, especially when it comes to medical know-how. While this doesn’t mean swallowing gum in big quantities is great, it may be helpful to know what the body does to chewing gum after it gets swallowed.
Obviously, after swallowing chewing gum, it goes into the stomach, where the body’s internal acid does the crucial job of breaking down food. This acid can’t dissolve chewing gum, so the gum continues its voyage through the innards intact, going to the seven-meter-long small intestine. There, the gum would continue to not be digested. So, it goes into the large intestine, where the body turns food waste into number two, and that’s where the swallowed chewing gum will get stuck in the waste and exit the body the normal way.
Too Much Is Too Much
But what would happen if loads of gum gets swallowed at once? It can build up together and cause a blockage, so it must be stressed that while this is incredibly rare, it is possible. Children have been known to swallow multiple pieces of gum in a single day, and this has ended up blocking their intestines. This means there are some risks associated with swallowing too much chewing gum. Being sensible about it is the best way to ensure everyone is fine while enjoying gum.
It’s probably for the best if people restrain themselves from ingesting dozens of chewing gums and it is crucial for kids to know that it is not in their best interest do to so as well.