Yes, it makes sense that our whole bodies are a result of evolution, but the reasons behind these seven things may surprise you.
You may be surprised to know that humans are the only species on Earth that has exposed lips. The lips of all the other animals do not show interior skin like ours do. Why is that? Well, our ancient ancestors were used to seeing a woman’s vajayjay whenever they wanted, but as we moved from walking on all fours to an upright position, the nether lips became hidden. Eventually the facial lips started to turn out and show more flesh. Like their lower counterparts, these lips plump and flush when aroused.
Goosebumps are the result of flexing muscles at the base of each hair follicle. There are two reasons humans get goosebumps. The first happens when someone is cold. Back when we were covered in fur, raising the hair up created a layer of air beneath it, which acted as insulation to keep us warm. The second reason occurs when we feel threatened in some way. By raising the hair when we’re ready to fight or trying to make someone else flee, it made us appear bigger, which in the wild translates to more threatening.
Although the ability to wiggle your ears is rare with only 15 percent of the population being able to do it, in the past, everyone did it. At some point in our ancestral history, our ears moved directionally. Like a horse’s, we could move them around to be able to hear things better. While that ability is mostly gone, we all still have the auriculares muscle which surrounds the outer ear. This muscle controlled the ear’s directional movement and some of that ability still exists in a few of us today.
Although wisdom teeth are now simply painful and frail, they once served a very important purpose. A long, long time ago, pre-humans were primarily herbivores, which meant they ate a lot of greens. Because green vegetation takes longer to digest, it needed to be chewed more, and wisdom teeth gave the extra surface area needed to grind the greens into pulp. But as our brains got bigger and we started eating more meat, our jaws got smaller to accommodate the change. Now, nearly 90 percent of the population has impacted wisdom teeth which may grow in sideways or push other teeth together because of the lack of space in the jaw.
In herbivores, there’s an organ called the cecum, which helps to breakdown and process cellulose so the body can better digest it. Since our ancestors were herbivores, they too had a cecum. As time passed and humans began eating more and more meat and less and less vegetation, the cecum shrunk into what we now call the appendix. Although the appendix does seem to produce some good gut germs to help the digestive system, we don’t really need it and those that have it removed suffer no real consequences. It seems it is simply left over from a previous version of us.
Before we were bi-pedal, we spent a lot of time bent over, walking on our knuckles and having our rear ends out there for everybody to see. It seems as we stood more and more upright, our butts became less and less visible. Almost in direct correlation with that, women’s breasts started to become more and more developed. The belief is that breasts grew rounder and more prominent to mimic the look of a woman’s bent over ass and help her attract a mate. Well, we can’t necessarily say that they look like an ass, but we definitely know breasts help to attract a mate.
Sort of like the appendix, hiccups are left over from old body parts we no longer needed. If you go far enough back the family tree, you’ll come to a time when human ancestors lived in both water and on land. Because of this, there was this thing called a glottis at the entry to the lungs that would close off to not allow water into the organ. While the glottis is no longer there, a small trace remains. This underdeveloped muscle sometimes contracts when sucking in air and this uncontrollable contraction is what we now call the hiccups.
Do you know of other random weird evolutionary traits humans have? Share them with us in the comments.