• Question: Do human's have a chemical formula? If so what is it?

    Asked by danrumford to Cat, Daz, Johnson, Pamela on 23 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Cat O'Connor

      Cat O'Connor answered on 23 Jun 2011:

      Oh Dan,

      You’ve totally caught me out again! I’m going to have to look this up but before I do, let’s think about it.

      Firstly, I know that we’re mostly made from water….not as much as a lettuce but pretty close, I think about 70%. So we’ll have Hydrogen and Oxygen. And while we’re at it, probably nitrogen too since we live in this atmosphere.

      Secondly, we’re carbon based life forms so obviously there is a bit of that thrown in. And our bones contain calcium too so that’s another one.

      Third, then we’ve got metals in our bodies too like iron and zinc so there’ll be some of those…..

      Okay, that’s as far as I’m willing to guess. Let’s see what the internet says:

      I wasn’t too far off. This is the composition:


      Okay I missed quite a few but was going in the right direction!

      I found this list on line showing what percentage each element makes up:

      Oxygen (65%)
      Carbon (18%)
      Hydrogen (10%)
      Nitrogen (3%)
      Calcium (1.5%)
      Phosphorus (1.0%)
      Potassium (0.35%)
      Sulfur (0.25%)
      Sodium (0.15%)
      Magnesium (0.05%)
      Copper, Zinc, Selenium, Molybdenum, Fluorine, Chlorine, Iodine, Manganese, Cobalt, Iron (0.70%)
      Lithium, Strontium, Aluminum, Silicon, Lead, Vanadium, Arsenic, Bromine (trace amounts)

      I hope this answers your question!