The human body is a wondrous thing. It’s amazing when you think about what it’s made of and how it all functions. However, our ancestors had quite a few additional body parts that there are still traces of in our bodies. In the future, they will die out completely. Here are some of the most interesting ones.
1. Body hair
When our ancestors were around, body hair in males played a significant role in attracting a mate.
These days, it apparently has no function whatsoever!
2. Paranasal sinuses
It’s believed that these serve the purpose of making our heads lighter, but these days no one knows why we still have them.
3. Ear muscles
Unlike some animals like cats and dogs, we humans can’t move our ears. This is due to them having auricular ear muscles. We still have them, which explains why some people can wiggle their ears, but it doesn’t really serve any major purpose these days.
4. Wisdom teeth
We all currently have wisdom teeth, which are said to have played a major role in our ancestors’ feeding, as they would use them to chew plants to stay alive. In roughly 5% of the population, wisdom teeth don’t really have a purpose, so let’s hope that they disappear first, because that means cheaper dentist bills!
5. Neck rib
It’s believed that cervical ribs are left over from the age of the reptile. Some people still have them, and they have been known to cause nerve and artery problems.
6. Palmaris muscle
Ever tried touching your thumb and your pinky together? You’d probably see something like this.
It was important for climbing back in the day, and it’s missing from 11% of the modern population.
7. Male nipples
We know that the primary function of nipples on a female body is for lactation, but they’re redundant among males as they don’t need to produce milk.
8. Arrector pili muscle
This is essentially the goosebumps muscle. Animals use it to puff up their fur for warmth or for intimidation, and this is the phenomenon known as goosebumps among us humans, but since we’re not hairy, all it does is give us a funny feeling.
The appendix is a redundant muscular tube which is attached to our large intestine. At one point it helped us digest plants, but since there are less of those in most people’s diets these days, it’s redundant and prone to infections.
10. Thirteenth rib
8% of adults today have a thirteenth pair of ribs, taken straight from our close cousins, the chimps and gorillas, who also have an extra set of ribs.
According to various studies, scientists have found that humans balance on the midline of their feet while walking, and to this day this center of balance is still shifting in, which means that in the future toes will no longer be needed to balance.
The coccyx, also known as the tail bone, is the bone where our ancestors’ tails were attached. Well, at least that’s what scientists believe.
13. Third eyelid
This third fold in the eye, pointed out by the yellow arrow actually used to be a third eyelid. We no longer need it.
14. Darwin’s Point
This small point of folded skin on the corner of the ear is believed to be a remnant of a larger shape that helped focus distant sounds. Part of me wishes it was still functional.
A muscle that would have been useful if humans still walked on all fours.
Do you know of any other parts of our body that we still have but are redundant? Share them in the comments!