Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles This episode of DNews is brought to you by the BuyPower Card from Capital One. Every purchase brings you closer to a new GM vehicle. Climbing mountains, exploring high places and playing music all have something in common, and your body does it naturally. Howdy folks, Trace here for DNews. The human body is amazingly adaptable. We heal after massive injury, we overcome emotional trauma, and with a bit of training, our bodies can adapt to whatever we throw at them. Mountain climbing is one of the most challenging outdoor activities I've ever attempted. And doing some research on it, I've found that it's pretty tough on our bodies too. Firstly, there are no muscles in your fingers or toes. I know! Without them, we can't climb anything, and there are NO muscles in there. Your phalanges, or the bones of your fingers and toes, are attached to tendons which pull from muscles in your forearm. Spread your fingers out like this, see those taught cables stretching through your hand? Those are tendons connected to muscles down here! When you rock climb, the muscles build up as expected, and according to a 2006 Journal of Anatomy study, climbers' bones are thicker too! Even those who didn't begin climbing until after skeletal maturity at age 25 had thicker metacarpals and phalanges. Of course, those thicker bones won't make any difference if the fingers aren't callused. Calluses are a form of skin protection, perhaps you've shaken hands with a construction worker, a climber, or a guitar player… Remember those rough spots on their hands? Those calluses are a result of repeated friction of the skin, and are a natural formation to protect the body. The outermost layer of your skin, the stratum corneum, is a layer 25 cells thick of dead skin. It serves as a first barrier to UV light, infection and friction. When a violinist plays a lot, or an auto worker finger-tightens bumper bolts every day; The skin on their fingertips will respond by thickening the stratum corneum to over 100 cells! So let's say your muscles are built, your fingers get callused, and you get to the top of the mountain you're trying to climb. Once you're there your brain starts freaking out, and not just a little bit. A study in the American Journal of Medicine of 35 climbers who didn't take supplementary oxygen with them, found brain damage in nearly all of the adventurers. The cause? Hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to the brain, which make sense at altitudes in the study of over 14,000 feet. A lack of oxygen on a mountain can cause insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and headaches. It's called "acute mountain sickness." And though most climbers know this already, what they don't know is this brain damage ain't temporary. At high altitudes, both professional and amateur climbers know to get acclimated, and some no longer experience acute mountain sickness. But MRI's of climbers brains still showed brain damage. And over time, the damage worsens and though the body is resilient the brain doesn't recover so well. After years of high-altitude climbing with no supplementary oxygen, the brain damage can screw with VR-spaces in the brain. Or the parts that communicate with the lymph system and drain brain fluid. Of course, this can all be avoided, again, by bringing oxygen with you, so… just do that. Of course, there is one thing that might help you avoid some of these high-altitude brain issues: A fear of heights! According to Evolutionary Psychologists, fear of heights is what kept our ancestors from getting too close to the edge of a cliff and risking death. Of course, if it's enough to keep you off a mountain, then it might have blown into something worse than the evolutionary inborn instinct. Many primates are comfortable in trees, so why do we get a phobia of heights? Probably something taught by parents or experiences, said scientists. How do you feel about climbing? Have you ever wanted to challenge your body by climbing a mountain? Get on belay down in the comments! The BuyPower Card from Capital One wants to help you get to your next adventure, whatever that may be. By giving you a percentage of every purchase back to earn toward a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac. There is no limit on the amount you can earn or redeem toward part or even all of a new vehicle and your earnings never expire. Thanks for watching DNews and please subscribe for more videos every day of the week.