Race to Space: The true story of your future

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Do you know where you will be in three years? The material of living things, including you, originates from a surprising place. Everyone knows the food chain base is plant life on land, while ocean life originates from phytoplankton and algae.

These microscopic creatures use sunlight, like plants, to produce 66 percent of the oxygen in our atmosphere. Most of the oxygen in every breath you take, which then spreads through your bloodstream, was once in these tiny ocean creatures. The remaining oxygen is produced by plants on land.

Humans are physically made of what they consume. A 200-pound person, on average, is only 60 pounds of solids and 140 pounds water, about 70 percent. The base of our diet is plants on land or phytoplankton in seafood. All animals are made from reorganized atoms taken from consumed plants and algae.

Most people think trees grow using the materials in soil, but that’s not true. A seed can grow in a bag with no dirt and a small amount of water. The material in plants and trees is 98 percent from elements in Earth’s atmosphere and only 2 percent from soil.

Plants pull atoms from the air while humans eat to replace nearly all cell material. The longest to regenerate is the spinal cord taking around three years. Some cells never grow back, like many neurons in our brain, but the physical structure of the cell is replaced with fresh nutrients.

Three years from now, the only physical part of yourself to remain will be the tiny amount of heavy metal in your brain since birth, and possibly ink from a tattoo or surgical implants. If you are lucky enough to still be alive in a few years, the materials that will make up your body are now in the atmosphere all around the world, in seawater, in sunlight yet to be released from the sun, and in the water in clouds, rivers, lakes, and oceans of the planet Earth.

Plants will self-assemble out of thin air and dirt, be consumed by animals and eventually reorganize according to DNA, leading to you.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages.


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