Are You Up for the Organ Function Trivia Challenge?

SCIENCE

By: Daniel Yetman

6 Min Quiz

Image: izusek / E+ / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Your body is made up of organ systems, which are made up of organs, which are made up of tissues, which are made up of cells. There are some organs you can live without, like your gallbladder and tonsils. However, if you have problems with your heart, brain, kidneys, liver, or lungs, the results can often be fatal. 

The practice of dissecting cadavers for medical knowledge began in Ancient Greece more than 2000 years ago. However, throughout most of history, dissecting human bodies was considered taboo. To get around this problem, early scientists began dissecting animals similar to humans, such as Barbary macaques and pigs. While these animals share many of the same organs as humans, some differences may have serious medical implications. For example, a pig's liver has five lobes, while the human liver has only four lobes. The differences become even more significant when we start looking at the brain. 

Even today, many universities have trouble getting human bodies for medical research. However, if it weren't for cadaver dissections, we still wouldn't have a great understanding of our bodies. Do you know the function of all the organs in your body? Really? Even the mesentery? It's time to put your medical knowledge to the test and challenge yourself with these 40 questions!

This essential organ produces insulin, which is the primary hormone responsible for controlling your blood sugar. It's your _________.

Your pancreas has several functions. The first is to produce insulin, which lowers your blood sugar when it becomes high. It also produces somatostatin, which is a hormone that plays a role in tissue growth.

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These glands, located on top of your kidneys, produce several hormones, including cortisol. What are they?

Your adrenal glands also produce the hormone adrenal, but if we told you that in the question, it would have made the question too easy. You may have heard of the condition 'adrenal fatigue,' which is thought to occur when your adrenal glands can't produce enough cortisol to counteract your stress levels. However, there's no evidence to support that this disorder exists.

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Your ______ produces the essential hormones T3 and T4, which regulate your metabolism. What organ are we talking about?

Your thyroid is located at the front of your throat. Besides controlling your metabolism, it also produces the hormone calcitonin, which helps regulate your body's calcium balance.

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This vital organ pumps blood throughout your body. Without it, your blood would stop flowing, and your tissues wouldn't receive vital nutrients. What's it called?

Hopefully, this was one of the more obvious questions in this quiz. Unlike some essential organs, like your lungs and kidneys, you only have one heart, so if it stops working, you'll die within minutes.

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You can find T-cells, which play a vital role in your adaptive immunity, in this part of your body. What's it called?

Your thymus is located in the middle of your chest. It trains T-cells, which help your body adapt to foreign bodies. By your teenage years, it atrophies into a clump of fatty tissue.

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Which part of your brain is responsible for controlling your breathing, involuntary actions, taste and balance?

Your pons is located at the top of your brainstem and is responsible for controlling several involuntary actions. It's also called the 'Bridge of Varolius' since it connects your brainstem to your thalamus.

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Which part of your body helps direct sound to your cochlea?

Your ear is perfectly shaped to direct sound waves from your environment into your ear canal. Once sound waves enter your ear, they cause your eardrum to vibrate. These vibrations are then sent to your inner ear for processing.

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This organ is the part of your eye that senses light and sends visual information to your brain. What's it called?

If you didn't have a retina, you wouldn't be able to see the world around you. Your retina senses light and sends that sensory information to your brain via your optic nerve. Your optic lobe in the back of you brain then processes this information.

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Your _____ produces a hormone that increases your blood calcium levels. What organ is it?

Your parathyroid gland is located below your thyroid gland at the front of your neck. Its primary function is to help regulate your calcium levels. The number of parathyroid glands can vary from three to eight.

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This hormone-producing organ is divided into an anterior and posterior section. It produces thyroid-stimulating hormone, prolactin, growth hormone, oxytocin and others. It's your ______.

Your pituitary gland secretes hormones that affect almost every part of your body. People who have gigantism often have tumors on their pituitary glands. These tumors cause an overproduction of growth hormone.

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A particular part of your brain creates melatonin, which is the primary hormone that regulates your sleep cycles. It's your _________.

Your pineal gland is located deep in you brain. It produces melatonin and is shaped like a pine cone. It's present in almost all vertebrates — animals with a spinal column — except for a few species, such as the hagfish.

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These glands are responsible for producing milk. What are they called?

The ability to produce milk is a trait unique to mammals. Most mammals only produce milk shortly after having a baby. In humans, milk production usually starts somewhere around the midpoint of pregnancy.

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This part of your brain translates to 'little brain' and is located in the back of your head. It's vital for motor learning. What part of your brain is it?

Your cerebellum is located in your hindbrain. A few functions of the cerebellum include, controlling attention, language ability, fear regulation, pleasure and coordination. Damage to the cerebellum causes problems with posture, fine movement and motor learning.

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These little bumps contain gustatory cells that help you differentiate between food flavors. What are they?

It's a common misconception that certain regions of your tongue are responsible for tasting different flavors. In reality, your taste buds that sense sour, sweet, umami, bitter, and salty are spread all over your tongue.

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Your _____ covers your body and protects it from foreign invaders and water loss. What is it?

You may not think of your skin as an organ, but by surface area, it's the largest organ in your body. It's thought that over 1,000 types of bacteria live on the human skin, so don't forget to wash your hands!

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Which small organ holds bile produced by your liver?

Your gallbladder is located next to your liver and holds bile. You can live without your gallbladder. In people who've had a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removed), the liver releases bile directly into the intestines.

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This organ is a series of folds in your throat that helps you form words. Which organ is it?

Your larynx is more commonly referred to as your voice box. You can manipulate the pitch of your voice by changing the tension in your vocal cords, which are flaps of skin that vibrate as air passes by them.

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Your _____ filter blood and keep your electrolytes in balance. What are they?

Your kidneys are one of the most important organs in your body. Kidney failure can often be fatal and is most often caused by high blood pressure and diabetes. Some autoimmune diseases, like lupus, can also cause kidney failure.

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This part of your mouth allows you to break down food into small particles. What's it called?

If you still have all your teeth, you probably have 32 in total. If you've had your wisdom teeth extracted, as many people do, you likely only have 28. Some animals, like sharks, constantly regrow their teeth. Unfortunately, humans aren't so lucky.

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Part of your mouth gives you space to store food before swallowing and connects your mouth to your nasal cavity. What is it?

Your pharynx is essentially the part of your mouth behind your tongue. When you breath through your nose, air passes from your nasal cavity to this part of your mouth. Your pharynx leads to your trachea and esophagus.

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This organ connects your mouth to your stomach. What's it called?

Your esophagus is nearly a foot long and creates a passageway for food to pass to your stomach. At the top of your esophagus, a flap of skin called the epiglottis covers your windpipe when you swallow so that food doesn't get into your lungs.

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Your _______ changes the pressure gradient in your thoracic cavity and aids in respiration.

Your diaphragm is a muscle at the base of your thoracic cavity. When you inhale, it contracts and creates a vacuum in your lunges. Singers have to learn to engage their diaphragm to project their voice.

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Which organ detoxes your blood, produces bile and stores sugar as glycogen?

Your liver is the workhorse of your organs. Besides the functions we already mentioned, it also produces insulin-like growth factor 1, which is vital for synthesizing new muscle and connective tissue.

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This organ connects your intestines to the back of your abdominal wall. It also stores fat and allows blood to flow to your gut. It's your _________.

Even though the presence of the mesentery has been known for more than 1,000 years, it wasn't clear if people had multiple mesenteries or one large mesentery. Surgeon Sir Frederick Treves dissected hundreds of cadavers to find that there is only one mesentery.

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Part of your digestive system absorbs water from your food before it passes through you. What part is it?

Your large intestines are shorter than your small intestines but get their name from their wider diameter. Your large intestines is your food's last stop before it passes through your body.

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This organ is the place where vitamins and minerals are primarily absorbed from your gut. What is it called?

Despite the name small intestines, they're actually the longest organ in your body. If you unraveled your small intestines they would reach a length of up to 35 feet. For most people, they're 10 to 16 feet.

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Which part of your body creates new red blood cells?

Your bones have many functions, such as acting as a place for your body to deposit calcium and supporting your movement. However, the marrow inside your bones has the important role of creating new blood cells.

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Which of the following is a lump of lymph tissue in your mouth that plays a role in your body's immune system?

Many people get this non-essential organ removed when they have a history of becoming inflamed. Even though they aren't essential, they help your body fight against pathogens that enter your body through your mouth.

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Which male organ produces sperm?

The testes are the site of sperm production in men. After sperm is formed, other substances are added by organs such as the prostate to give it better mobility in the vagina. Once these substances are added, it's called semen.

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This part of your body allows you to push food to your pharynx, form syllables, and it contains your taste buds. What is it?

The average person's tongue is about four inches long. In the animal kingdom, the title of largest tongue in relation to its body belongs to the tube-lipped nectar bat. Its tongue can reach 3.3 inches long which is about 50% longer than its body.

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This organ is a large blood filter that destroys damaged red blood cells and contains a backup supply of blood. What's it called?

Your spleen may not be the most well-known organ, but it does play an important role in your overall health. Your blood constantly flows through your spleen, and cells that are old or damaged are removed by the spleen and broken down into their individual molecules to be recycled.

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Which organ contracts to allow your body to move?

If it wasn't for your skeletal muscles, you wouldn't be able to move. Your muscle can contract to produce force or resist external forces by elongating. Unlike smooth and cardiac muscle, skeletal muscle is under your conscious control.

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What are the names of the tubes that carry lymph fluid throughout your body?

Lymphatic vessels carry lymph fluid around your entire body. They work in synergy with your cardiovascular system to transport nutrients around your body. Your blood and lymph vessels can exchange nutrients at the level of capillaries.

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Which part of your body produces cerebrospinal fluid that circulates around your brain and spine?

You have a choroid plexus in each ventricle of your brain. They produce the fluid that your brain floats in that protects it from impact. Your cerebral spinal fluid also circulates along your spinal cord.

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This region connects your brain stem to your spinal cord. It controls involuntary movements such as vomiting and sneezing. What is it?

Your medulla oblongata plays a role in connecting the higher level parts of your brain, such as your cortex, to the functions of the spinal cord. The medulla also controls many of your reflexes, like gagging and swallowing.

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Part of your ear controls your balance and your vestibular system. What is it called?

Your semicircle canals are three rings in your inner ear filled with crystals that signal to your brain when your body is moving in the X, Y, or Z axises. Movement in these planes is call pitch, roll, and yaw.

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This male-only organ produces several fluids that make up a large percentage of semen volume.

The prostate is a common site of cancer in men. In fact, about one in nine men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer at some point during their life. African American men are at the highest risk.

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What female organ contains the egg and also produces the hormone estrogen?

Women have two ovaries that take turns releasing an egg each month. The ovaries are also the site of estrogen production, which is the primary female hormone that gives women secondary sex characteristics, like breast tissue and a higher voice.

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This organ provides a passageway for urine from the bladder. It's your __________.

Both men and women have a urethra. Women have a shorter urethra than men, which leads to a higher incidence of bladder infections since bacteria have a shorter distance to travel.

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What organ provides a passage from your mouth to your lungs?

Your trachea is often referred to as your windpipe. Children's toys will often have a warning if they have the potential to be choking hazards, since these can block airflow. The epiglottis covers the top of your windpipe when you swallow.

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