Is there a Temperature gradient in the human body? especially I have heard that the eye is colder than other places? Is that right?


closed as off topic by Waffle's Crazy Peanut, David Z May 27 '13 at 17:10

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    $\begingroup$ Definitely there is not constant temperature throughout the body. Temperature measurements in different places yield variations in body temperature. There's some more info here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_body_temperature $\endgroup$ – Greg May 27 '13 at 3:29

Whenever you burn yourself, your grandmother will tell you to grab your ear. Your ear is less irrigated than other parts of your body, thus cooler.

Whenever you go to the mountains and you're cold, your extremities will start freezing because the body redirects blood flow towards the inner organs for survival, sacrificing what is not needed.

Generally speaking, it is the density of blood circulating in certain regions which sets the temperature there. For humans, the genital area, the chest (heart) and the head (brain) are the warmest places. The body has a defense mechanism against overheating which is sweating. Above 42 $^{o}C$ your proteins would denaturate and you would likely die.

The eye needs little irrigation to function, so I can easily imagine it is cold. African elefants have gigantic ears because they direct blood flow towards their ear to cool down their body. Dogs stick out their tongue out because they have no other mechanism to cool the body.

Bottomline is : yes, there is a complex temperature gradient in the human body.

  • $\begingroup$ Is there a natural refrigerator to cool eyes? $\endgroup$ – richard May 27 '13 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ Well the whole body's refrigerator is heat loss through your tissues. If this is not enough, you start to sweat to take away even more heat. If in a sauna, your perspiration is not enough, and that's why you cannot handle it any longer than, say, 20 minutes. In your brain, there is a massive blood flow + electric activity and hence is warm. The heat will be dissipated through your neck and skull. I guess they eye is simply colder because there is less blood flow and activity there. $\endgroup$ – Mathusalem May 27 '13 at 13:46

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