How do the lungs work? - Emma Bryce
- 2,336,733 Views
- 63,708 Questions Answered
- TEDEd Animation
Understanding how inhalation and exhalation actually work can seem a little tricky at first, but it’s not too difficult to understand when you break the process into its different parts. It’s helpful to understand the special roles of the diaphragm and the intercostal muscles too.
Breathing oxygen in and carbon dioxide out are just part of the process: the oxygen still needs to get out of the lungs and into the bloodstream. The carbon dioxide needs to make its way out of the blood—how does this happen? The process of diffusion! The alveoli are very important in this process, not only because they allow the transfer of oxygen and carbon dioxide, but also because they give the lungs their huge surface area. With all this surface area, they can accomplish their massive task of keeping the body supplied with oxygen.
If you want to know why oxygen is so important for the body, you should check out this explanation. Why are our bodies’ cells are so dependent on this gas to thrive?
Want to learn more about lungs? Check out these TED-Ed Lessons:
Visualizing Hidden Worlds Inside Your Body: Dee Breger
How Breathing Works: Nirvair Kaur
Create and share a new lesson based on this one.
More from Getting Under Our Skin
lesson duration 05:03