We’re all familiar with death, whether it's from visiting a hospital, a funeral home, assisting a burial — or even escaping death ourselves. Although death (along with taxes) is inevitable during our mortal existence, we still can’t begin to imagine dying or what happens after we die. The truth is we all fear the Grim Reaper and the unknown countdown ‘til our death, but how aware are we about our own mortality?

Every minute there are, on average, 107 deaths, based on the census bureau’s population clock, with a total of 56 million deaths per year. Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death throughout the world, as well as for the past decade. As we know, the only certainty in life is that one day it will end, so on that note, let's contemplate the prospect of death with these morbid facts:

1. 35 million of your cells die every minute

Cells, like skin cells, are constantly dividing either from incidents like skinning the knee, or to replace old, dead, or damaged cells. We lose about 30,000 to 40,000 skin cells every minute, or roughly 50 million cells every day, according to Arizona State University. This means there are a lot of skin cells to replace, which is what makes cell division vital. Other cells like nerve and brain cells divide less often.

2. You are born with over 270 bones and die with 206

Depending on the development of the baby, he will be born with approximately 270 bones as compared to 206 for adults, says Marshall Cavendish Corportation’s Mammal Anatomy: An Illustrated Guide. When we grow, various bones begin to fuse together to become one large bone, and give the body its shape and support. For example, at birth, five distinct bones make up the baby’s skull and later fuse into a complete skull. The five separate bones during birth is what gives the elasticity and malleability necessary for the baby to pass through the birth canal.

3. You can’t die of 'old age'

People generally don’t tend to die of old age, but of inactivity or age-related diseases. In 1951, state and federal agencies were ordered to adopt a standard list of 130 contributing and underlying causes of death, which led to the deletion of a cause of death attributed to “old age.” It is not a scientifically recognized cause of death because it is believed there is always a more direct cause, although it may not be known in some cases.

4. Doctors' sloppy handwriting kills more than 7,000 people annually.

Errors result from unclear abbreviations and dosage indications from a doctor’s illegible handwriting on prescriptions. A 2006 report from the National Academies of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM) found patients’ lives are at risk if their doctor has sloppy handwriting. Poor handwriting has killed more than 7,000 people annually. Writing electronic prescriptions has been introduced to eliminate many of the errors that occur when pharmacists misunderstand or misrecord medication names or dosages via phone or paper.

5. Most people die in hospitals

Hospitals are a place where birth and death occur simultaneously. Now, more people die in hospitals instead of at home because many opt for aggressive treatments to treat cancers or diseases. These patients are often in an intensive care unit on a ventilator or feeding tube, according to PBS NewsHour. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says 70 percent of Americans die in a hospital, nursing home, or long-term-care facility.

Cemetery with graves
Sun shining on cemetery with graves. Photo courtesy of

6. Over 2500 left-handed people are killed each year from using products made for right-handed people

Left-handed people are more likely to live shorter lives than their right-handed counterparts because they live in a right-hand dominated world facing difficulty using products for the righty. This contributes to over 2,500 left-handed people being killed each year for using these products. An article published in The New England Journal of Medicine found out of 1,000 deaths of Southern Californians, right-handers, on average, live to be 75 years old, while left-handers typically die at age 66.

7. Death by vending machines

Your appetite could become the cause of your unexpected death. Vending machines can surprisingly become a cause of death, with 37 people dead from toppling a vending machine to get a quarter or cola between 1977 to 1995, Discovery News reported. This comes out to an average of about two per year, or twice the number of people killed by sharks in the U.S.

8. Your dinner begins to eat you within 3 days of death

The enzymes that once consumed your dinner actually begin to eat you within three days of death. The enzymes are sent throughout the body and will attack your defenseless organism. This is because ruptured cells become food for living bacteria in the gut, which releases noxious gas that bloats the body and causes the eyes to bulge outward, Discover magazine reported.

9. You can get erections

There may be life after death — at least for a man’s penis. This is because after you die the membranes of the cells become permeable to calcium. Certain types of muscle cells are activated by calcium ions, meaning the muscles may contract, in particular the penis. Naturally, this can lead to an erection and even ejaculation following death.

These morbid facts about death can only mean one thing: It’s a good thing we’re still alive.