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Discovery Magazine 2/1/1990

Your Heart—a Magnificent Pump

Inside your chest is a muscle about the size of your fist. It is your heart. A grown man's heart weighs less than a pound, and is shaped like a pear. This muscle works like a pump by contracting and relaxing. It is the strongest and toughest muscle in your body. The heart beats (contracts and relaxes) about seventy-five times each minute. At every beat a wave of blood is pumped into the artery system. The force of this pump is very strong. The heart could squirt a stream of blood about ten feet up into the air.

The heart is like a house with four rooms—two upstairs and two downstairs. The upper rooms are called auricles (AH-rick-ulls) and the lower rooms are called ventricles (VEN-trick-ulls). Your blood, loaded with fresh oxygen, is pumped out of the heart to all parts of the body. It is then pumped back to the heart and sent from there to the lungs where it picks up more oxygen. It only takes about a minute for three to five quarts of blood to make this round-trip. There are more than 6,000 miles of blood vessels in your wonderful body.

You do not have to tell your heart to keep on pumping each day. It just keeps on beating—over forty million times each year. Who designed this amazing pump, and put it on "automatic," so that normally we do not have to worry about it for many years? The only reasonable answer to this question is God. God made us. It is silly to think that the human heart is a mere accident of nature.



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