This Is What Would Happen If We Didn't Have Bones

If we think of our body like a house, our skeleton serves as the foundation on which the rest of the house is built. Although surprisingly lightweight, the roughly 206 bones that can be found in the adult human body are anything but weak. Rather, they bear quite a bit of weight — literally. One of the main functions of our bones is to keep us propped up, along with storing fat and minerals, producing blood cells, and maintaining a protective barrier around our vital organs (via WebMD).

There is no doubt that bones are critical when it comes to our ability to move and thrive as humans, but what would happen if humans didn't have any bones at all? Could we survive? And would we really resemble a pile of goo as often portrayed in cartoons?

Before we get to these questions, let's first look into whether or not the loss of our bones is even possible. Per the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), a rare condition known as hypophosphatasia involves the weakening of our bones due to a genetic defect in the bones' ability to mineralize. Often emerging in childhood, individuals with the disorder are more prone to fractures, and may experience loss of teeth.

Could humans survive without bones?

As opposed to bone loss, what would happen if humans were void of bones altogether? For starters, we would be without a major source of calcium (via MedicineNet), an essential mineral that not only helps maintain strong and healthy bones, but facilitates neural communication between the body and the brain, per the National Institutes of Health.

Furthermore, without our bones, we would be completely immobile, reports What If. Aside from being unable to physically move, we would also be unable to meet some of our most basic survival needs such as breathing and eating. No bones means no ribcage, which would make lung expansion impossible as we inhale. Requiring breathing assistance through a ventilator would then leave our air passages wide open to infection and illness. In addition to breathing assistance, you would also need feeding assistance, since without our jawbones, we have no means to chew.

Moreover, we would have insufficient protection for our most essential organs, such as our brain, leaving them susceptible to life-threatening injury. All in all, our chances of survival would greatly decrease without the support of our bones.

So at the end of the day, what would we look like? According to the educational teaching platform, BYJU'S, humans would look similar to a puddle of jelly — yikes!