2 Dec 2019


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Beards and Mustaches


Yes, beards and mustaches are great for cosmetic reasons, but there might be other reasons we developed them over the years. A study proposed that beards might have served a similar purpose to lion’s mane, providing camouflage and maybe even protecting the jaw from attack.

 

3

Freckles


Freckles tend to appear on people with lighter skin, and there’s a scientific reason for it. Whereas people with darker shades of skin tan in sunlight, which is the body’s response to protecting itself from sunlight, freckles manifest as another type of melanin in lighter-skinned people for the exact same purpose.

 

4

Appendix


Ah, the appendix, the “useless” organ of the human body. While the appendix can be removed and not cause irreparable damage to the body, it does have a purpose. It protects good bacteria in the gut, which can help you when you have diarrhea to stay healthy.

 

5

Leg Hair


While it’s a nuisance now, it’s easy to look into the past and see how leg hair was very functional. Simply put, our ancestors needed ways to stay warm, and accumulations of leg hair could help.

 

6

Uvula


Interesting, the teardrop-shaped bit of tissue in your throat is entirely unique to humans. So, what exactly does it do? It helps with our ability to speak and allows us to drink while bending over.

Yeah, I’m not sure why humans only get that last part, but I’ll take it.

 

7

Fingernails and Toenails


Besides being nice to scratch your itchy skin or shield your finger/toe tips, fingernails can actually serve another purpose entirely. If the color of your nails isn’t normal, doctors can immediately use that to identify other problems in the body.

 

8

Eyebrows


Eyebrows serve two very different purposes. Eyebrows can act as a buffer between sweat, rain, or moisture in general to keep your eyesight intact. But the second function is much more psychological. They’re incredibly important to communication and recognition, to the point that a 2003 study revealed that people could only recognize famous faces 46% of the time when the eyebrows were missing.

 

9

Wisdom Teeth


[email protected]#king wisdom teeth (I’m typing this because within the next few weeks or months, I’m having mine finally removed and I’m not looking forward to it).

So, why the hell do we have them? Well, our ancestors didn’t have the benefit of modern dentistry and wore through their teeth faster. Wisdom teeth were a necessary third set of teeth after we ground through the first and second set of molars.

 

10

Armpit Hair


As annoying as it can be, armpit hair allows the body to release pheromones to attract potential mates, as unbelievable as that sounds when you’re staring at your coworker that you know for a fact hasn’t showered in at least two weeks.

 

11

Moles


Last, and kind of least, moles. They’re something of a harmless anomaly. Usually, when skin cells grow, they spread out through the skin. A mole is what happens when the cells cluster instead of spreading out.

However, some moles can be a symptom of more alarming problems, which is why doctors will sometimes create “mole-maps.” By mapping out the moles on someone’s body and keeping track of them, it can catch symptoms earlier and help save lives.


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