Alveoli have such thin walls–they consist of just a single layer of cells–to help with gas exchange from the air to the blood. Diffusion takes place faster when the distance through which diffusion takes place is shorter. You want this process to take place as quickly as possible to get oxygen into your oxygen-deficient blood cells. Fun fact: a piece of tracing paper is 50x thicker than the cell barriers of the alveoli.
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