An umbilical cord is that thing that was connected to you in that place where you’ll now find your belly button, and we all used to have one. Thanks to introductory biology classes, I presume that level of umbilical cord awareness is fairly common. But let’s go a little deeper (on Wikipedia) and learn more about what the cord does, besides providing the inspiration for countless movie scenes where the woman giving birth in the backseat of the car is like, “HOW ARE YOU GONNA CUT THE UMBILICAL CORD??”

During prenatal development, the umbilical cord is physiologically and genetically part of the fetus and, (in humans), normally contains two arteries (the umbilical arteries) and one vein (the umbilical vein), buried within Wharton’s jelly.

Two arteries and one vein buried in some jelly. Got it. But what does it look like?

The cross-section looks like a :)! Simply put by a medical student, “the mouth is the umbilical vein carrying all the good stuff & the eyes are the arteries where your mom took care of your trash.” Here’s another, even more ecstatic look.


She’s serving some straight up Wharton’s Jelly realness with that :D! But it’s not all smiles when you’re that close to a placenta 24/7.


This “I’m over all this pumping and this fetus can’t even talk to me” look is more of a ;\.

For more cool faces that are responsible for pumping the essence of life into all fetuses, do some Googling. These two are my personal favorites.

Images via Flickr(Image 1/Image 2) and Wikipedia (altered to remove text)

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