What Are the Human Body’s Smallest Parts?

by KIDS DISCOVER

Inner_Ear

The human body is a marvel of engineering, with thousands of interrelated parts. Some are tiny but still very important. Let’s look at four of the smallest parts of the human body: the smallest muscle, the smallest bone, the smallest organ, and the smallest blood vessel.

What’s the smallest muscle in the human body?

The stapedius, in your middle ear, measures about 1mm in size (or 1/26 of an inch). Connected to the stapes bone, it contracts to pull back the stapes and help protect your inner ear from loud noises. The stapedius also contracts to keep your own voice from sounding too loud in your head.

What’s the smallest bone in the human body?

Conveniently, that would be the stapes. It is one of three tiny bones in the middle ear that convey sound from the outer ear to the inner ear. Collectively called the ossicles, these bones are individually known as the malleus, incus, and stapes. Those are Latin words for the shapes the bones resemble: a hammer, anvil, and stirrup.

What’s the smallest organ in the human body?

You’ll find the pineal gland near the center of the brain, in a groove between the hemispheres. It’s not an organ like those in the abdominal cavity. It’s the human body’s smallest endocrine gland, and it produces melatonin, a hormone (derived from serotonin) that affects how we sleep, wake up, and react to seasonal changes. It’s called pineal because it’s shaped like a little pinecone.

What’s the smallest blood vessel in the human body?

Capillaries, the smallest, thinnest-walled blood vessels in the body, connect veins and arteries. They can be as small as 5-10 micrometers wide — or 50 times thinner than a baby’s hair. Each of us contains about 10 billion of them, with the average adult body containing about 25,000 miles of capillaries.

KIDS DISCOVER

KIDS DISCOVER For over 25 years, we’ve been creating beautifully crafted nonfiction products for kids. With a specialty in science and social studies, our team of talented writers, award-winning designers and illustrators, and subject-experts from leading institutions is committed to a single mission: to get children excited about reading and learning.