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Most Common Elements in the Human Body

Try to name the 12 most abundant elements in the human body.
Source: Wikipedia
Quiz by zxcvbnm
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Last updated: December 6, 2019
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First submittedNovember 30, 2012
Times taken98,843
Average score66.7%
Rating4.68
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Proportion
Element
65%
Oxygen
18%
Carbon
10%
Hydrogen
3%
Nitrogen
1.4%
Calcium
1.1%
Phosphorus
Proportion
Element
0.25%
Potassium
0.25%
Sulfur
0.15%
Chlorine
0.15%
Sodium
0.05%
Magnesium
0.006%
Iron
+18
Level 59
Oct 9, 2012
Missed a few, can you please accept Sulphur as an alternative spelling.

Thanks

+4
Level 44
Nov 30, 2012
added
+4
Level 28
May 21, 2016
Even though it isn't?
+29
Level 50
Aug 31, 2016
Even though it is

Sulfur or sulphur (see spelling differences) is a chemical element with symbol S and atomic number 16. It is an abundant, multivalent non-metal. Under normal conditions, sulfur atoms form cyclic octatomic molecules with chemical formula S8.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur#Spelling_and_etymology

+39
Level 77
Mar 22, 2017
Why isn't it? Sulphur is the standard British spelling and a widespread spelling outside the USA.
+4
Level 23
Mar 29, 2017
No, the word sulfur is now the standard British spelling. Changed a few years ago.
+2
Level 47
Mar 29, 2017
I changed in the UK in 1992 apparently
+22
Level 37
May 1, 2018
Still sort of relevant because I was taught to spell it sulphur in school so it technically isn't a dead way to spell it
+20
Level 75
Jul 15, 2018
Manwiththeamazingbeard I disagree. Who has the right to change traditional British spellings? Sulphur it is, always was and ever shall be. Sulfur is a childish spelling.
+11
Level 67
Jul 16, 2018
"Traditional British spellings" can change. When one writes in the stile of which you speak, as if by magick your argument seems rather emty.
+9
Level 87
Jul 16, 2018
Traditional British (and Latin) spellings stayed in the U.S. in more cases than not. The U.K. decided to act French in the 19th Century all of a sudden with French -our, -re and others after centuries of maintaining the correct Latin spellings. A lot of British and French pronunciations stayed in North America as they were at the time of the linguistic split. Even the Queen's English has changed markedly in 70 years. Take it up with her.
+6
Level 78
Jul 17, 2018
Exactly right, someone2018. US spellings have remained remarkably stable, it's British ones that have changed, contrary to popular misperception in the UK.
+6
Level 84
Mar 1, 2019
British pronunciations of words have also changed more than American ones. But they need something to be snooty and condescending about.
+12
Level 76
May 17, 2020
Why not accept both spellings? This site is usually bad-speller friendly and a better argument can be made for this one since it was once an accepted spelling. While on the subject of British spellings, as always I'll give another shout out to the British spelling of aluminium even though I'm American. I always have trouble saying aluminum and it's an outlier among the other elements with the ium endings. If we could pronounce it "al -yoo-min'-um" it wouldn't be as bad as our "a-loom'-i-num" which is just wrong.
+1
Level 65
Aug 9, 2022
I've never seen it spelt with an f until this quiz. Always with a ph round these parts.
+1
Level 67
Aug 9, 2022
why are you generalising a whole country, just because your favourite british character on TV acts condescending and snooty, doesn't make every british person act the same way. in a way you could say that you are being condescending lol
+1
Level 55
Feb 2, 2023
why are you generalizing a person's comment, just because it fits your favorite world view and fills your ego, doesn't make it true especially given the context. in a way you could say that you are being condescending lol
+13
Level 65
Oct 31, 2016
Also can you add Brimstone?
+1
Level 56
Mar 30, 2017
Why?
+3
Level 72
May 14, 2017
Cosmokim is being being sarcastic.
+2
Level 37
May 1, 2018
Too much Binding of Isaac
+1
Level 87
Oct 21, 2018
I totally misread cosmokin as something more than PG-rated.
+1
Level 36
Jun 5, 2022
dammit i didnt know how to spell phosphors
+7
Level 20
Nov 22, 2013
Is this by mass or mole fraction?
+18
Level 72
Mar 29, 2017
I think mass fraction, because if it was moles hydrogen would top the list. The main reason Oxygen has such a high percentage is because of its larger atomic weight.
+2
Level 74
Oct 21, 2018
I was wondering: if as much of the human body is H2O as is often said, then how could the H not be a higher percentage? I guess you've offered the explanation.
+1
Level 60
Jan 25, 2021
Yeah, that makes more sense.
+2
Level 66
May 31, 2022
It is by mass. By mole fraction, hydrogen is the most common by far with about 60%, followed by oxygen with 24% and carbon with 12%. Nitrogen is far off with 1% and the rest is just fractions of a percent.
+8
Level 84
Dec 12, 2014
This must be a massic proportion, there are way more hydrogen atoms than oxygen atoms, but oxygen is sixteen times heavier than hydrogen. Given that the human body consists of two thirds of water, and that most of water's mass is due to oxygen, this seems logical.
+1
Level 79
Jan 3, 2015
I must have spelled it "phosporous" or something. I did guess it!
+12
Level 84
Jan 3, 2015
Shouldn't high fructose corn syrup be on here?
+21
Level 83
Jan 3, 2015
Only for Americans.
+11
Level 84
Jan 3, 2015
That's true. Non-Americans are usually full of something, though I'm not always sure what.
+1
Level 38
Mar 31, 2017
Mexicans too
+1
Level 66
Dec 15, 2021
Mexicans are non-Americans...?
+1
Level 28
Apr 8, 2022
Not true, talk to Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia about that.
+1
Level 51
Apr 18, 2022
Not all Americans are fat, believe it or not.
+1
Level 49
May 28, 2022
shh don't tell them, they want to maintain their illusion
+2
Level 84
May 28, 2022
Charlielizard: unless they have dual citizenship or are Mexican-Americans, then, yes, of course, they are non-American. American meaning, obviously, as is near universally understood, people with citizenship in the United States of America. As opposed to Mexicans, which are people with citizenship in the United States of Mexico (or Los Estados Unidos Mexicanos), the country immediately to the south. That's how the English-language demonyms have been used around the entire world for the past several hundred years. Hope this clears things up for you.
+1
Level 46
Aug 9, 2022
america is 2 continents, not 1 country
+1
Level 84
Aug 10, 2022
How could America (a singular noun) be 2 continents? That doesn't even make sense. It's not a region or a hemisphere. North America is 1 continent. South America is 1 continent. Together they might be called "The Americas." America is 1 country. Not hard to understand this unless you're being deliberately obtuse or antagonistic. But of course some people enjoy that. Cue said people to comment below...
+1
Level 21
Mar 29, 2016
thats not an element
+9
Level 78
Jan 3, 2017
The FDA just approved HFC as a new element. Red 40 Lake as well.
+1
Level 64
Sep 10, 2017
Don't forget fructose, glucose, and all the other "ose"s.
+1
Level 66
Dec 20, 2018
sucrose saccharose maltose (cant think of others...)
+2
Level 49
Mar 2, 2019
That's just carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen
+3
Level 56
Apr 14, 2020
I'm down to the last seconds, and I guess vitamins...
+11
Level 86
Jan 3, 2015
Pretty sure my body is at least 2% Cheez-its.
+2
Level 44
Jan 3, 2015
If you weigh 100lbs and eat 1lb of tacos, are you 1% taco? Yes.
+2
Level 38
Aug 26, 2015
lol
+1
Level 39
May 28, 2016
Haha genius
+1
Level 58
Mar 29, 2017
:-)
+1
Level 79
Mar 29, 2017
BigCheesy for the win
+1
Level 14
Dec 19, 2017
yes :)
+3
Level 67
May 17, 2020
Actually, the percentage would be even less because of the air you take along with the taco. Later, this air would come out of your mouth as a burp.
+6
Level 67
Dec 29, 2020
Actually, if you weigh 100 pounds and eat 1 pound of tacos, you now weigh 101 pounds, so you're just 0.9900990099 % taco. #maths
+2
Level 66
Dec 15, 2021
It should be: "If I weigh 99 pounds and I eat 1 pound of taco..."
+7
Level 76
Jan 3, 2015
For a few of my friends, silicon would have to figure high on the list.
+1
Level 28
May 21, 2016
That's silicone, if I get your joke.
+2
Level 66
Mar 29, 2017
Well, guess what silicone to a large part consists of.

Clue's in the name.

+1
Level 26
Jan 7, 2015
Everything but phosphorus
+1
Level 45
Dec 7, 2022
I got all right by entering random elements
+9
Level 75
Oct 5, 2015
Am I the only one who thought of that Breaking Bad episode when I did this quiz?
+3
Level 71
Jan 13, 2016
Yes.
+2
Level 73
Mar 29, 2017
No
+3
Level 61
Apr 2, 2017
No, that episode came to mind immediately for me, as well. ;-)
+2
Level 42
May 28, 2022
its been forever since ive seen that! but i immediately thought of it LOL
+6
Level 52
Jan 13, 2016
I couldn't spell the English word for phosphorus, the Norwegian word is so much easier: fosfor.
+1
Level 24
May 20, 2016
I go with: 1. Organic compounds...C. 2. Water...H&O. 3. Proteins...N. 4. Nucleic acids...P. 5. Bones...Ca. 6. Nerve...Na&K. 7. Salts...Cl. 8. I can't think of anymore. Try from atomic number 1, skipping those that are not gonna be here...Mg,S&Fe

I feel bad to face the need of using the last method; I should be able to tell those elements as a biology student...:(

+2
Level 55
Jan 3, 2017
Surprised Iodine isn't hear. I always hear how it's good for you.

Nice quiz!

+1
Level 69
Jun 11, 2019
ya, I tried that too, but I think when it comes to iodine in your body, a little bit goes a long way, so you never have much in your body
+4
Level 48
Mar 22, 2017
C. HOPKINS CaFe, Mighty good (Mg) with a pinch of salt (NaCl). Learned this in college.
+2
Level 22
Mar 22, 2017
A year of organic chemistry and a career in health care and I couldn't come up with carbon. The main man of O-chem. *facepalm*
+1
Level 80
Mar 29, 2017
With all the fish I eat, I'm pretty sure mercury should be on this list.
+1
Level 76
Mar 29, 2017
Add that to the fillings in our teeth and the preservatives in our vaccines. Not to mention how we used to "play" with mercury in high school chemistry class because it was so cool to watch it rolling around in the palms of our hands. I wonder how I've survived so many decades. :)
+1
Level 44
Mar 29, 2017
I'm surprised. I got the 7 most common.
+1
Level 58
Mar 29, 2017
Gold

3×10−9

+1
Level 63
Mar 29, 2017
One day I'll learn to science.
+1
Level 77
Apr 23, 2017
Chlorine?????? I am so scared.
+4
Level 64
Sep 10, 2017
That's why all my friends smell like pool water!
+3
Level 69
Jun 11, 2019
salt is sodium chloride, most people eat it all the time. Chlorine is only a problem when there is a lot of pure chlorine around, and pretty much anything is poisonous at high enough doses
+1
Level 16
Jul 26, 2017
I might have spelled "pottasium" or what ever...
+1
Level 75
Sep 10, 2017
Why did so few people get chlorine? Anyone heard of Hydrochloric acid?
+5
Level 76
Sep 25, 2017
Or sodium chloride?
+1
Level 60
Sep 18, 2020
now hwhy hwould you need 6 tubs of hydrochloric acid? sir, this is a huendys
+1
Level 71
Sep 10, 2017
Like questions on elements ...…..Try this one
+1
Level 73
Jan 24, 2018
Aw frig, how did I forget SALT?
+1
Level 57
Jul 16, 2018
I'd honestly think Hydrogen would be more abundant than Oxygen, because 75% of the Human Body is made of Water, and Water is made of 66.6% of Hydrogen. Correct me if I'm wrong (which I probably am), but I'd think that would compromise at least 50%. Also, you probably won't count this, but Hydrogen is the "building block" to every element, so I'd think the abundance of hydrogen would be greater than 10%. I think it deserves at least 30%.
+3
Level 67
Aug 13, 2018
This quiz is going by total atomic mass, not number of atoms. Water has twice as many hydrogen as oxygen atoms, but oxygen atoms are 16 times heavier than hydrogen atoms, so water is counted as 8/9 oxygen.
+1
Level 67
Aug 13, 2018
And hydrogen can be made into other elements by nuclear fusion, but when that happens it ceases to be hydrogen. This is a chemistry quiz so that wouldn't count anyway.
+3
Level 73
Dec 13, 2021
Pretty sure there isn't much nuclear fusion happening in most human bodies.
+1
Level 43
Jul 16, 2018
shoutout to fma hahah
+1
Level 37
Jul 18, 2018
Excuse my nit-picking, but shouldn't the title be most ABUNDANT elements, instead of common?
+1
Level 66
Dec 20, 2018
Didnt get the two least guessed ones. Interesting how high iron is
+1
Level 28
Mar 1, 2019
C'mon that was frigging easy!
+1
Level 25
May 17, 2020
Who gets sodium but not chlorine? They're both the same value, there's a clue there.
+1
Level 65
May 23, 2020
I guessed Chlorine but not Sodium.
+2
Level 67
May 17, 2020
Please could you add Phosporus as a type-in?
+2
Level 91
May 19, 2020
And Bosporus.
+1
Level 60
Aug 17, 2021
55 seconds
+1
Level 62
Dec 13, 2021
Urine is P.P. (with n)
+1
Level 27
Jan 14, 2022
please accept urianium and plutonium:(
+1
Level 37
Aug 9, 2022
Uranium and plutonium are not the most common elements in the human body. This quiz lists the 12 most common elements of the periodic table in your body. Uranium is the 5th least common element in the body, approximately 0.0000001% or 1 out of 10 million molecules of your body is uranium. Meanwhile, literally none of your body is plutonium, making your comment absolutely ridiculous.
+1
Level 40
Jul 21, 2022
I guessed neon!
+1
Level 47
Aug 9, 2022
Gold?

Jk

+1
Level 60
Aug 9, 2022
I guess some people have a good tooth
+3
Level 62
Aug 9, 2022
Odd how many people will get sodium but not chlorine.
+1
Level 38
Dec 15, 2022
ikr, despite the fact that they ingest chlorine almost every time they ingest sodium... it's basically goofy people like my mother, who dropped out of 9th grade
+1
Level 72
Aug 11, 2022
Please accept heart, guts, and/or toughness thx
+1
Level 56
Dec 14, 2022
I somehow managed to forget to type nitrogen. I'll see myself out.
+1
Level 33
Feb 6, 2023
For some reason I entered petroleum, probably because it ends with an M