5 CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY:
THE “LOCKED” SKILLS THAT WE GET FROM THE PAST
These are the 5 “vestigial” skills that would have made us unstoppable or at least cooler, if it had not been for evolution.
Among the many transformations that the human being has had the opportunity to experience throughout the history of humanity, there have been many evolutionary directions that have been ignored or repressed with the aim of achieving the ideal of species to which we are used to know.
The human body, in all its splendor as a fully functional and well thought out biological machine, could however have taken on completely different characteristics and functionality if it had not been for the various mutations and for the propagation of genes that have been gradually selected, by chance or condition, and which then adapted to our way of life.
There are therefore an infinite number of possibilities and combinations that humanity has not had the opportunity to discover of its biological and evolutionary abilities, and that we will probably never discover, unless it happens a radioactive catastrophe like the ones in apocalyptic movies that starts the mutagen reactions in an unexpected and sudden way.
But for some of these unexpressed potentials it is still possible to observe the indications of those genetic change of course that we still carry without realizing it, marked right on our body.
If you too are curious to know what these potential and real upgrades the human body could acquire over the centuries, without however entering the world of science fiction and fervent cinematographic imagination, here is for you the ranking of the most peculiar and formidable features that evolutionary progress wanted to deactivate in our genetic makeup, but that still resist in their residual form or vestigia.
5- THE AURICULAR EARS
The animal world is really so extensive and differentiated that it is enough to look around with attention to see how many surprising things even the most common animals are capable of doing.
And it is precisely in relation to many of these animals that the first physical ability inhibited by genetics occurs.
We humans in fact have fully undeveloped muscles, located in the ear area, which if we had adapted for their functional use, would have enabled us to rotate and direct the ears to our liking, thanks to a cartilaginous nodule called Darwin’s tubercle.
These auricular muscles would have allowed us to better capture the sounds simply by twirling the ears in the right direction, as horses, donkeys, dogs and many other animals already do, and with much grace in addition.
Unfortunately our species, evolving into the most progressive ability to turn its head horizontally, has deprived us of this peculiar and amusing ability. At least to many of us, as perhaps you may have encountered or seen, some people have these muscles that are slightly more advanced than normal, which in fact allow them to move their ears in several directions even if in a partial way.
Obviously we are not talking about “Dumbo” ear movements, but it is still an interesting skill.
4- THE THIRD EYELID
We now move on to the organs intended for the sense of sight, that is the eyes.
Placed in the famous “tail” of the eye, there is a third membranous eyelid and the muscles connected to it, still visible and present but vestigial (rendered unusable by the evolutionary process) called plica semilunar, which if it had developed would have allowed us to have a protective membrane to be able to further lubricate and shield the eyes by remaining open just like other species such as reptiles, fish, amphibians, birds and other animals such as cats, with the so-called nictitating membrane or third eyelid.
This transparent eyelid could move over the eyeball in a horizontal way unlike our other two eyelids that instead move vertically, proving to be an effective shield against the weather and therefore increasing our adaptability to environment.
Just think of how it could prove useful for us humans if used underwater, being able to protect the eyes and at the same time guarantee underwater vision thanks to its diaphanous physical properties.
3- THE “CLIMBING” TENDON
As is well known, our origin as a species is closely connected to that of monkeys, mammals known for their propensity for climbing and jumping trees. To do this, their body is structurally predisposed to provide the necessary physical strength to be able to perform agile movements while supporting their weight suspended in the air.
As descendants of the primates, these skills were given to us in the times when we also swayed among the lianas like real Tarzan of the ancient era.
And this is where the so-called palmaris longus muscle that is located in the forearm comes into play, which is also a vestige muscle and therefore to be considered an evolutionary wreck, which was supposed to be a support for better movement in the trees and an agile maneuverability in climbing, typical of the primates we come from who still use it actively, but that we lost its usefulness when we opted for a style of movement that did not require the use of the hands, which made us bipeds.
However, not all people have it nowadays.
If you want to know if you are one of the humans who still has this muscle, just follow these two simple steps:
– Join the pinky finger with the thumb of one of the two hands
– Move the wrist forward with the hand facing toward you
If present, the tendon that connects it will be visible on your wrist, in the center of it. It should be remembered that the presence or absence of the tendon in one of the two hands, whether right or left, does not imply the same thing for the other hand, as you can have the tendon in one wrist and not have it in the other and vice versa.
The good thing is that this “extra” tendon can be used for transplantation (graft) and the repair of other tendons, acting as reinforcement for these if necessary. In fact, having another “extra” one is quite convenient, so for those who still have it, congratulations because you are among the lucky ones to have a rare and ancient genetic code that will soon disappear.
If instead you are part of that 14% of the population who do not have it, do not despair, because you are one of the few who own the modern DNA of the new generation.
2- THE ANCESTRAL HICCUP
In the study of the evolution of our species, one of the hypotheses proposed on the causes of hiccups is that of being a legacy of amphibious breathing, which is also based on a form of reflex, and there have been studies that have supported this supposition particularly in infants, who exhibited similar behaviors sufficient to predict a correlation.
Even if for now it remains a conjecture, the idea that every time we get that unpleasant hiccup that doesn’t seem to go away, it is actually due to a precursor breathing method that could have greatly improved the aquatic abilities of the human species, it is truly extraordinary and upsetting.
1- THE TAIL
We conclude with the coccyx, the last bone of the vertebral column, which is all that remains of the tail that our ancestors sported among the foliage of the forests.
In fact it is still present in our species during a part of the embryonic phase, and in rare cases, it happens that babies are born with some extra vertebrae attached and therefore having a real small tail, almost like that of the Saiyans of Dragon Ball.
Although the coccyx still has a supporting function for muscles, tendons and ligaments, it no longer has the characteristics that the tail offered to the human species, such as strong and improved stability of movement and balance.
We only have to imagine what direction the history of fashion would have taken if the tail had been taken into consideration as an additional “limb” for the creation of all the clothing we wear every day, such as trousers for example, and which instead they would have enriched our wardrobe as the accessories for this singular appendage.
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5 CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY 5 CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY 5 CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY 5 CURIOUS FACTS ABOUT THE HUMAN BODY