20 Interesting Facts About the Human Heart

03 January 2020

20 Interesting Facts About the Human Heart…


  1. A human heart is roughly the size of a large fist.
  2. The heart weighs between 9 and 12 ounces (250 and 350 grams).
  3. The heart beats about 100,000 times per day (about three billion beats in a lifetime).
  4. An adult heart beats about 60 to 80 times per minute.
  5. Newborns hearts beat faster than adult hearts, about 70 -190 beats per minute.
  6. The heart pumps about 6 quarts (5.7 litres) of blood throughout the body.
  7. The heart is located in the center of the chest, usually pointing slightly left.
  8. Your heart is located in your chest and is well protected by your rib cage.
  9. Every day, the heart creates enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. In a lifetime, that is equivalent to driving to the moon and back.
  10. Because the heart has its own electrical impulse, it can continue to beat even when separated from the body, as long as it has an adequate supply of oxygen.
  11. The “thump-thump” of a heartbeat is the sound made by the four valves of the heart closing.
  12. The heart begins beating at four weeks after conception and does not stop until death.
  13. A woman’s heart typically beats faster than a man’s. The heart of an average man beats approximately 70 times a minute, whereas the average woman has a heart rate of 78 beats per minute.
  14. Grab a tennis ball and squeeze it tightly: that’s how hard the beating heart works to pump blood.
  15. During an average lifetime, the heart will pump nearly 1.5 million barrels of blood—enough to fill 200 train tank cars.
  16. French physician Rene Laennec (1781-1826) invented the stethoscope when he felt it was inappropriate to place his ear on his large-buxomed female patients' chests.
  17. In 1903, physiologist Willem Einthoven (1860-1927) invented the electrocardiograph, which measures electric current in the heart.
  18. In 1929, German surgeon Werner Forssmann (1904-1979) examined the inside of his own heart by threading a catheter into his arm vein and pushing it 20 inches and into his heart, inventing cardiac catheterization, a now common procedure.
  19. On December 3, 1967, Dr. Christiaan Barnard (1922-2001) of South Africa transplanted a human heart into the body of Louis Washansky. Although the recipient lived only 18 days, it is considered the first successful heart transplant.
  20. “Atrium” is Latin for “entrance hall,” and “ventricle” is Latin for “little belly”.


  • Avraham, Regina. 2000. The Circulatory System. Philadelphia, PA: Chelsea House Publishers.
  • Chilnick, Lawrence. 2008. Heart Disease: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed. Philadelphia, PA: Perseus Books Group.
  • Daniels, Patricia, et. al. 2007. Body: The Complete Human. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society.
  • Davis, Goode P., et. al. 1981. The Heart: The Living Pump. Washington D.C.: U.S. News Books.
  • The Heart and Circulatory System. 2000. Pleasantville, NY: The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc.
  • Parramon’s Editorial Team. 2005. Essential Atlas of Physiology. Hauppauge, NY: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc.
  • Tsiaras, Alexander. 2005. The InVision Guide to a Healthy Heart. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

Tags: heart