In 1895, German physics professor Wilhelm Röntgen produced and discovered X-rays while experimenting with Lenard tubes and Crookes tubes and began studying them. In his initial report, the first paper written on X-rays, Röntgen referred to the radiation as "X", to indicate that it was an unknown type of radiation.
The name stuck, although many of his colleagues suggested calling them Röntgen rays (over his great objections). Interestingly, they are still referred to as such in many languages. In 1901, Röntgen received the first Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery.
Today, X-rays are essential in various sectors such as health care and transportation security. People even use them to detect art forgeries!
To show you just how deeply they have penetrated our lives, Bored Panda put together a list of some of the most interesting X-ray images we could find on the Internet. From an Egyptian sarcophagus to a metal arm, let's take a closer look, shall we?
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X-rays are a form of electromagnetic radiation, similar to visible light. But X-rays have higher energy than light and can pass through most objects, including the body. Medical X-rays are used to generate images of tissues and structures inside the body. If X-rays traveling through the body also pass through an x-ray detector on the other side of the patient, an image will be formed that represents the “shadows” formed by the objects inside the body.
General practitioner, medical researcher, and founder of PrimeHealth Clinical Research, Iris Gorfinkel, M.D., told Bored Panda that probably the most common X-ray of all is the chest X-ray, simply because it's often done when people are coughing, especially longer than a couple of weeks. "Other common X-rays that are fairly routine are mammography (looking for breast cancer in women) and CAT scans (we'll do CAT scans of the chest, the abdomen, and that's often to look for various cancers as well)."
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Even though X-rays have saved countless lives and helped in a range of important discoveries, scientists have shown concern over the health implications of getting one. "No radiation is considered particularly healthy because ionizing radiation can interfere with the way cells divide and cause normal cells to become cancerous cells," Gorfinkel explained. "But the reality of the amount of radiation with various studies is that it's actually very low, and does not tend to do that unless they are constantly repeated."
Experts estimate that 0.4 percent of cancers in the U.S. are caused by CT scans and that an average CT scan might raise the chance of fatal cancer by 1 in 2,000. However, this figure pales in comparison to the natural incidence of fatal cancer in the US of 1 in 5.
"For the most part, for the vast majority of people getting X-rays, that's not a concern," Gorfinkel said. In other words, the risks are very little compared to the benefits of medical imaging.
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An X-Ray Of An Egyptian Sarcophagus Revealed A Kitten Inside
To give you some context, the Earth is constantly bombarded by cosmic radiation, including X-rays. These rays are not harmless but they are unavoidable, and the radiation is at such low levels that its effects are virtually unnoticed. "There was always an ambient amount of radiation, in other words, just walking around on planet Earth, we have exposure," Gorfinkel said.
X-Ray Scans Of A Painting Of The Young Charles II Of Spain Reveal That The Artist Painted Over An Earlier Painting When Charles Was A Few Years Younger
X-Rays Of Children's' Mouths Between The Ages Of 6-12 Years Still Hold Wonder For Me, Even After Being A Dentist For 10+ Years
A chest X-ray is equivalent to a just few days of the amount of natural background radiation and a mammogram is three months worth. But a CAT scan of the abdomen, for example, is worth years of natural background radiation. Gorfinkel said it's important for people to realize that CAT scans, in general, are much higher in radiation than X-rays.
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"I view them as invasive tests, even though people don't feel anything going on. Considering that a CAT scan of the chest or a CAT scan of the abdomen is equivalent to three years of natural background radiation, they should be done with careful thought—they shouldn't be just done willy nilly."
A Nice Clear X-Ray Showing My RNS Device, The Leads That Run To The Point Where My Seizures Originate
And also the brackets holding my skull together after my craniotomy (and the staples holding my scalp together).
When You Accidentally X-Ray Anubis. Dog Moved At Just The Right Time During An X-Ray
X-Ray Of A Foot In Stilettos
Snake Has A Kidney Tumor. Wanted To Share His X-Ray. Wish Him Luck In Surgery
Backscatter X-Ray Identifying Contraband In A Truck. An Operator Noticed Anomalies In The Right-Side Z Backscatter View, And Flagged This Vehicle For Further Inspection
This Is An X-Ray Of The Device Doctors Put In My Dad's Neck, Containing Undeveloped Bone Cells And Stem Cells To Regrow Parts Of His Spine. Science
I Got A Panoramic X-Ray Of My Teeth The Other Day. The Dentist Forgot To Have Me Remove My Glasses
X-Ray Of A Flamingo
X-Ray Of A Cat With Scoliosis, Causing Her To Be Round
Girl Was Nervous The X-Ray Machine Would Hurt So I Took A Quick Shot Of Her Stuffed Fox To Show It Was Fine
Miss Correct Posture, 1956. At A Chiropractic Convention In Chicago, The Contest Winners Were Picked For The Beauty Of Their X-Rays And Their Standing Posture
X-Ray Of My Metal Arm
I Took An X-Ray Today And They Told Me That My Wisdom Teeth Are Pretty Strange
A Man In China Had A Steel Spoon Lodged In His Esophagus For A Year, But Surprisingly, The Half-Swallowed Utensil Didn’t Cause Too Much Discomfort
I Took This X-Ray On A Covid+ Patient Hours After My Friend Tried To Tell Me Covid Isn't That Bad
A Tiger's Paw
Nikola Tesla's Foot In A Shoe, By Himself. Tesla Obtained The Image In 1896 With X-Rays Generated By His Own Vacuum Tube, Similar To Lenard’s Tube, At A Distance Of 8 Feet
This Guy Had Two Nails From A Nail Gun Hit His Leg, And They Both Missed His Femur And His Kneecap
An X-Ray Of My Cat's Intestines, Kinda Looks Like Santa In A Sleigh
Pre-Flight X-Ray Image Of Neil Armstrong's Moon Boots Taken On July 7, 1969
NASA x-rayed everything the astronauts wore in order to verify that there were no sharp objects embedded in the cloth that could puncture the pressure suit
Just Received My X-Rays From Saturday’s Debacle. They Had To Cut My Ring Off Before Returning My Bones To Their Full Upright And Locked Position
My fingers are still sore/stiff/swollen but mostly functional
X-Ray Of A LED Bulb From Philips
Chest X-Ray Of Attempted Suicide By Injecting Elemental Mercury (Quicksilver) Intravenously
I Love How Sinister These Cute, Innocent Dolls Look Under X-Ray. It Shows Their True Colours
This peek-a-boo doll shrieks that over and over again even with just one squeeze. It also covers its eyes. If only it would cover my ears