Wow! I’m so happy to be taking my upcoming trip! As an oxygen molecule, I don’t get to Europe much, but I do enjoy my frequent trips from the atmosphere of the Earth to the alveoli of a human! This is always a great trip. I get to start by entering a human’s nose via inhalation. Some of my travel partners, such as dust molecules and pollen end their journey here and remain in the nose hairs. As I move along my journey, I get a great view of the pharynx and the larynx as I go by. I also get to make some new friends by the name of water molecules as I travel down the trachea and enter the lungs. I feel very safe here because the lungs are protected by the rib cage. Next, I get to see the bronchi. When I get there, the bronchi are so happy to see me they swell with happiness. They then direct me to their junior partners, the bronchioles. There are 30,000 to choose from. I don’t stay long, as I need to hurry and get to the alveoli. Once there, these minute sacs filled with air segregate me move me on to the capillaries. See, “the alveoli are like an exchange point of gases” and from here, I get to see my good friends the red blood cells and their hemoglobin. They are glad to see me and embrace me tightly until I have to trade places with my old buddy, carbon dioxide. Just as I am entering the bloodstream, I spot carbon dioxide, but we can’t spend time together, as he is always in a hurry to return from the capillaries and go back to the lungs. This whole party where carbon dioxide and I get to see each other for a brief moment is called cellular respiration. When the party is over and I need to start thinking about my trip home, I just follow my path out the same way I came in. I go back through the capillaries to the alveoli, then to the bronchioles, the bronchi, up through the trachea, past the larynx and the pharynx, and out through the nose. It’s a great trip – I’ll make it a million more times before I am tired of it.

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  • Agarwal, P. (2017). Oxy the oxygen molecule’s journey through the respiratory system. Retrieved from