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Coming Up Next… Nine Things You Never Knew about Sperm

Our documentary Banking on Bimingham charts the launch of the UK's first National Sperm Bank in the midlands. To help celebrate we've compiled these 9 eye-opening facts about spectacular sperm.

1. Not all winners…

Only about half of a man’s sperm swim in a straight line. Some swim around in circles, or just get carried away with the flow of semen. But of course they’ll never stop and ask for directions….

2. Evil under the sun

Recent research suggests sperm could be adversely affected by sun cream and cosmetics, although not all scientists agree. Sperm are advised to opt for just a hint of lip gloss

3. Eureka!

Sperm was first discovered in 1677 by a Dutch microscope maker. Quite what he was doing to discover it we don’t know but it must have been a shock.

4. Quality not quantity

The average sperm sample is 3ml, which is two thirds of a teaspoon.

5. Busy doing nothing

The average man produces 1500 sperm cells a second. See? Next time someone asks you why you’re doing nothing, say “have you ANY IDEA what I’m actually achieving here?”

6. Nice trick…

If a man could get all his sperm in one ejaculate to line up end to end he’d have a line six miles long. And a hell of an act on Britain’s Got Talent.

7. Some like it hot

But not sperm. If they get too hot their motility is reduced. The body keeps them 7 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than the rest of the body. Veins can pull them closer to the body or further away to raise or lower heat. To keep your swimmers swimming, wear boxers, and don’t put your laptop on your lap.

8. Odd one out

90% of sperm in ejaculate are deformed. Two heads, two tails, huge heads, coiled tails…but their mothers still think they’re beautiful.

9. One in a million

In fact, one sperm in 200 million will go on to fertilize a woman’s egg. The others will have a little cry and say never mind, they gave it 110% and they’ve been on an incredible journey.

Listen to Banking on Birmingham