Trivia

Hard

The Hardest Part Of The Human Body Is The?

Xiphoid Process
Temporal Bone
Tooth Enamel
Sacrum
A model of human teeth with the wisdom teeth marked in green.
Gronchih/Wikimedia

Answer: Tooth Enamel

When it comes to hardness in the human body, mineralization is key. Mineralization is the biological process by which an inorganic substance precipitates in an organic matrix—in other words, the way in which our body can build and reinforce organic “scaffolding” with much harder minerals like calcium, thus creating important structures like bones.

Although bones are a perfect and prominent example of mineralization in the human body, they aren’t the hardest and most dense example. For that we turn to teeth, specifically the hard biting surfaces coated in enamel. Tooth enamel is one of the four tissues that make up our teeth and is comprised of 96 percent minerals with the remaining four percent being water and organic materials. The bulk of that mineral content is hydroxyapatite, a crystalline form of calcium phosphate.

On the Mohs hardness scale, healthy tooth enamel ranks at a 5—coincidentally smack in the middle of the mineral hardness scale, making human teeth slightly harder than steel but slightly softer than glass—though we’d strongly recommend against putting your teeth to such an endurance test.

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