The other day we learned that the human body is made up of an assortment of interesting elements and that these building blocks of life are virtually the same as the chemical composition of the world that surrounds us.
You know what they say on earth "Carbon is as Carbon does."
Being the entrepreneurial sort, the first question that comes to my mind is: How much is the human body worth if you break it all down to it's basic elements?
Well, before we wander off into other avenues of "Breaking Bad" induced discussions about human chemistry let's find out.
Thanks to Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. and the website DataGenetics for this wonderful economic breakdown.
First we learned in my last blog that the human body is made up of the following elements:
- 65% Oxygen
- 18% Carbon
- 10% Hydrogen
- 3% Nitrogen
- 1.5% Calcium
- 1% Phosphorous
- 0.35% Potassium
- 0.25% Sulfur
- 0.15% Sodium
- 0.15% Chlorine
- 0.05% Magnesium
- 0.0004% Iron
- 0.00004% Iodine
I know some of this s*#t is pretty expensive when you buy it in vitamin form.
Your body also contains trace amounts of other cool elements, such as silicon, manganese, fluorine, copper, zinc, arsenic and aluminum.
This are obviously things that you could make a great art project with.
Soooooooooooooo, what is the going rate for a body's worth of these awesome elements?
I mean according to a recent article in Wired magazine, a body could be worth up to $45 million — Calculated by selling the bone marrow, DNA, lungs, kidneys, heart … as single components and to the right people.
But some of that involves "black market" activities and I'm trying to keep this a "legal" explanation here. LOL
Are you ready?
Wait for it...................................
How about $160 dollars?
Are you surprised?
OK, how is this being figured?
In this case it is assumed that our body is lifeless and has a mass of 176 pounds (that’s approx 80Kg for our metric friends out their.)
This figure is based on average human weight found on the web.
An actual estimate of the cost of chemical elements is, surprisingly, difficult to obtain.
Some chemicals are sold in bulk and prices can be obtained by scaling these down.
Other elements are more specialised and the prices are based on using these elements as "laboratory grade" supplies, and even these can come in a wide variety of purities with a correspondingly wide range of prices.
See your neighborhood chemistry supply shop or talk to Walter White if you have any questions.
As suspected, the most abudant elements in the body are pretty cheap, so they contribute very little to the value of a body.
Similarly, the valuable (expensive) elements, such as Gold or Manganese occur in such trace quantities that their contribution to the overall sum is negligible.
The biggest contributors to the value of the body appear to be the Alkali Metals – Lithium, Sodium, Potassium, Rubidium and Caesium.
Potassium appears to be the single most 'valuable' element in the body because it lies at the sweet-spot of being both reasonably common and reasonably expensive.
It appears that the high purchase cost of the Alkali elements is related to the fact of how much effort is needed to separate them from the compounds they occur in, and not the rareness that they occur in the Earth.
Now you know Just what your body is worth?
Breaking down all of the individual chemicals, figuring out how to apply a street value to them and summing up all the amounts of their economic values the great minds of the world come to a grand total of just over $160.
You'd better keep eating those bananas!
So, next we will look at a few of the true inherent and intrinsic values of body chemistry...those we can't put a price on like what causes love or anger or happiness.
That could be priceless!!!
Thanks for joining me...............................