Wednesday, August 13, 2008

20 Parts of Your Body You Don’t Need

You might hear the NERD bells go off in your head when you saw this article, but I still thought it was extremely interesting. Here are parts of your body that you actually don’t need. Check out point 13. LOL.
1. VOMERONASAL ORGAN (VNO), or Jacobson’s organ: a tiny hole on each side of the nasal bridge that is considered to be connected to nonfunctional chemical receptors. Could be all that is left from our once great ability to detect pheromones.
2. EXTRINSIC EAR MUSCLES: These three muscles most likely made it possible for our ancestors to move their ears independently of their heads, as rabbits and dogs do. We still have them, which is why most people can learn to wiggle their ears.
3. WISDOM TEETH: Early humans had to chew a lot of plants to get enough calories to survive, making another row of molars helpful, but unless you chew a lot of branches, these will eventually come out in a painful procedure. Only about 5 percent of the population has a healthy set of these third molars.

4. NECK RIB: A set of cervical ribs—possibly leftovers from the age of reptiles, still appear in less than 1 percent of the population. They often cause nerve and artery problems.
5. THIRD EYELID: A common ancestor of birds and mammals may have had a membrane for protecting the eye and sweeping out debris. Humans retain only a tiny fold in the inner corner of the eye, exactly there where you always catch a spec of dust or debris.
6. DARWIN’S POINT: A small folded point of skin toward the top of each ear is occasionally found in modern humans. It may be a remnant of a larger shape that helped focus distant sounds.
7. SUBCLAVIUS MUSCLE: This small muscle stretching under the shoulder from the first rib to the collarbone would be useful if humans still walked on all fours. Some people have one, some have none, and a few have two.
8. PALMARIS MUSCLE: This long, narrow muscle runs from the elbow to the wrist and is missing in 11 percent of modern humans. It may once have been important for hanging and climbing. Surgeons harvest it for reconstructive surgery.
9. MALE NIPPLES: Lactiferous ducts form well before testosterone causes sex differentiation in a fetus. Men have mammary tissue that can be stimulated to produce milk. This just makes me angry; I’ve been spending a fortune on milk all these years! I’ll have to test this tomorrow with my Special K.
10. ERECTOR PILI: Bundles of smooth muscle fibers allow animals to puff up their fur for insulation or to intimidate others. Humans retain this ability (goose bumps are the indicator) but have obviously lost most of the fur.
11. APPENDIX: This narrow, muscular tube attached to the large intestine served as a special area to digest cellulose when the human diet consisted more of plant matter than animal protein. It also produces some white blood cells. Annually, more than 300,000 Americans have an appendectomy.
12. BODY HAIR: Brows help keep sweat from the eyes, and male facial hair may play a role in sexual selection, but apparently most of the hair left on the human body serves no function.
13. THIRTEENTH RIB: Our closest cousins, chimpanzees and gorillas, have an extra set of ribs. Most of us have 12, but 8 percent of adults have the extras.
14. PLANTARIS MUSCLE: Often mistaken for a nerve by freshman medical students, the muscle was useful to other primates for grasping with their feet. It has disappeared altogether in 9 percent of the population.
15. MALE UTERUS: A remnant of an undeveloped female reproductive organ hangs off the male prostate gland.
16. FIFTH TOE: Lesser apes use all their toes for grasping or clinging to branches. Humans need mainly the big toe for balance while walking upright, the other four are for holding when you slam them on a coffee table at night!
17. FEMALE VAS DEFERENS: What might become sperm ducts in males become the epoophoron in females, a cluster of useless dead-end tubules near the ovaries.
18. PYRAMIDALIS MUSCLE: More than 20 percent of us lack this tiny, triangular pouch-like muscle that attaches to the pubic bone. It may be a relic from pouched marsupials.
19. COCCYX: These fused vertebrae are all that’s left of the tail that most mammals still use for balance and communication. Our hominid ancestors lost the need for a tail before they began walking upright. All they’re good for now is give us painful falls on the butt.
20. PARANASAL SINUSES: The nasal sinuses of our early ancestors may have been lined with odor receptors that gave a heightened sense of smell, which aided survival. No one knows why we retain these perhaps troublesome mucus-lined cavities, except to make the head lighter and to warm and moisten the air we breathe.

More Amazing Facts

53 Comments:

Jamie said...

Very interesting list :]

I do have one query though: do we not have body hair to protect us from the sun? I was under the impression that our layer of hair helped keep UV rays at bay and stopped us burning.

Entertaining nontheless.

J

Paul said...

Wow, that's really cool. I never knew how much stuff we had, the only ones that're really obvious are male nipples and the appendix

Konraden said...

Body hair is mostly useless. Warmth mostly (for what's left). However, it's entirely possible and very likely to burn your scalp if you are in the sun too long, and your arms\legs\chest and what else will still burn.

Vestigial organs are interesting, and Creationists STILL defy evolution because it's not written in the bible. *sighs*

Alex(andrea) said...

We tan to protect us from the sun. Our body responds to the radiation from the sun, which burns our skin. Our body produces melanin, making the skin darker, and therefore less affected by the mass amounts of burning energy.

The reason we have hair is for the effect with the erector pili muscles. Let's take cats for example. You notice that when they get threatened or ticked off, they puff up? That is a response to tell the offender to back off. Their fur comes up, and makes them appear larger to hopefully scare off the offender. Many animals do this. We still have the body hair from when our ancestors did it, and we still get goosebumps today when we are frightened.

We lost the hair presumably because once the human-esque species started working more and migrating into the equator area (Africa, up to Middle East), we needed a bit more practical coat to cover us. So, we were able to ditch the mats of fur in exchange for the ability to sweat to cool us off.

Great article!

Bahari said...

well you never know....it is better to keep these parts cause we may need them some day

Anonymous said...

How about Pharyngeal tonsils? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adenoid

Anonymous said...

dude thats pretty awesome

Anonymous said...

who made this.humans are created by GOD every part he make has a purpose study it more close before posting anything

quixotesan said...

We did not descend from marsupials as number 18 suggests. Mammals and marsupials parted ways a long time ago, and I am sure you would be hard-pressed to find evidence of pouches in human predecessors. That being said, I have no idea why 80% of us have a pyramidalis muscle. Otherwise love the list!

Anonymous said...

"who made this.humans are created by GOD every part he make has a purpose study it more close before posting anything"

I can't tell if you're being serious or not...

joshua said...

Erector Pili muscles are also used to keep us warm by changing the surface area of our skin....

And God may have created us but evolution produced us:)

Anonymous said...

And God also made us inquisitive and have free will. Hence the reason all of these were posted. You now have the free will to navigate to another page if you do not like it.

musicmaster said...

The dude that posted before me is crazy!
The post is interesting by the way. But, I think that we all should still find those body parts very useful. Ears for example, because kids love when you are moving your ears. :)

Anonymous said...

That is very ignorant of you whoever you are. This is something posted that has nothing to do with religion. God also was tolerate and loved everyone would he say something insulting to one of his children. Religious people who are so "Godly" that they are useless. Respect what this person posted as something that made you a more knowledgeable person do you even know anything about these parts of the body that are useful do u have wisdom teeth i sure dont!

Mark said...

Although seemingly simple and obvious, I think it's mind-blowing proof of evolution that the two most important parts of the body - the brain and the pubic region - are still covered in hair. This is no doubt necessary to protect these crucial parts in cold weather.

Steve said...

the appendix is also speculated to have been there to replenish good bacteria for when the intestines are washed from a bad case of diarrhea. Thus keeping us able to digest. The cellulose speculation seems less able to hold ground on this one. and your god comment sucks. god isn't real. we're here from evolution and if you're reading this page and are offended, you shouldn't be reading this page anyways.

Jennifer said...

Although they are now finding that the appendix plays a part in the immune system.

Anonymous said...

If evolution is so obvious why have scientists not found a single transitional species when there should be millions of them ie. fish with scales and feathers a half fish half lizard. I have also never heard a good a explanation of how a single cell creature could have evolved from nothing when if you take any part of it away it could not exist.In other words all the parts had to evolve at the same time. Which is ridiculous.

Damian said...

Evolution seems to make a lot more sense to me when I think of the star fish. If you cut it right down the middle, you will get two of them. Wish we got the regenerative properties too. I don't know about this whole god thing though, but then again, I try not to talk about things I have no accurate information on. ~.^ Great post!!

Anonymous said...

This list shouldnt be taken seriously. Plenty of these still serve a purpose. We can get along without legs nowadays with society the way it is. Bodyhair for example still serves a function as it makes our arms more sensitive to touch.

Anonymous said...

Whoa! To think this is just a small list, especially if one were to delve into our microverse, where our genetic information is littered with dormant genes either once used or "waiting" to activate. Blows the mind... in a good way.

I DO believe in God,
just not "their" god or "his" or "her" God... nor the God of any book written by any man or woman. I have found, over the years, in order to respect the religious creationist, I must treat them as I would a child that has been raised as a horse would be; with blinders on the eyes, and only certain paths shown to them to tread. It is our nature to question all before us, especially what we fear. For it is fear that lead us to such times as the Dark Ages and much, much worse. Science, as we know today, is by no means perfect, yet it shines more light on the world then the candle I will always hold to my heart, which illuminates my soul. I Believe in science. It has and will fail us. And yes, it has the power to destroy us. But if questioned, it WILL NOT DAMN US! It is only when science is NOT questioned that it has the capability of destroying us. As with Religion, those that have questioned have been ridiculed, banished, tortured, killed and of course DAMNED.
Open your mind and embrace ALL truth. We are all children of humanity... TAKE THE F'ING BLINDERS OFF!!!

(sorry for the rant)

aseity

licensed massage therpist said...

I'm not saying all of these are wrong, but off the top of my head I can think of two:

We still use pheromones to detect genetic compatibility in potential mates.

and the coccyx is important attachment point for a number of anal muscles. Would you rather leak shit all day?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,

Evolution is not a theory. What scientists are debating is the theory of evolution BY NATURAL SELECTION. This means that the animals with the most effective means of survival, survived. Does survival of the fittest ring a bell? Anyways, the part of evolution that does not have a theory behind it, is simply the change in genetics in a species over generations. As for transitional species, obviously a fish didnt just say "oh, damn, hey look, im totally going to get up and walk today!! AWESOME!! LAND!!!" and then spurt legs. What happened was that some fish, over many many generations, had longer fins than others, and gained an advantage at survival somehow. (Look up the history of lobe-finned fish, its quite interesting) Anyways, so the fish with the longer, more stumpy fins had more ability to .. do something.. and eventually they turned into salamander like things (some examples are mudskippers, lungfish, salamanders and newts). As for never hearing a good explanation for cell development, this is a commonly accepted theory: Way back when the oceans were shallow and soupy, full of all sorts of chemicals and molecules and sea foam, waves upon waves upon waves were crashing down upon some rocks. Thousands of little bubbles got filled with nucleic acids and other random bits of molecules. Eventually with time, millions of waves, and billions of little bubbles, a coacervate was created. In this coacervate, (bubble with molecules and enzymes in it) random chemical reactions would happen with the various nucleic acids. The acids would form bonds and replicate, and do other fun nucleic acid things. Obviously, this was not the only coacervate, think of all the waves and bubbles and random collections of nucleic acids that could occur in the whole world over many many years! Think it can't be proven? Although still a theory, scientists have attempted to recreate the idea by making a sort of "primordial ocean" (in an experiment) and combining it with the "atmosphere" of prehistoric earth, some electrical sparks, and random nucleic acids. Some reactions and coacervates did become visible! I find this all very interesting, and it think it's important to understand what is reality and truth. Keep working for the progression of knowledge! <3

Haley said...

There are plenty of transitional species. In humans for example, there are the australopithecines. But the problem with fossils is that they are VERY rare. Only very specific conditions can make a fossil, so we aren't finding millions. Most bodies disintegrate.

Also, you should apply occam's razor here. Just because we don't yet know how we came to be from a single celled organism doesn't mean "god did it". It's much more logical to say it has a non-supernatural explanation.

H said...

A good and entertaining post, it's a shame that some of the comments appear to have come from someone with a "god" delusion.

Anonymous said...

In this corner, we have a scientific theory (Look the word up if you think this means unproven, idiot) that has stood up to rigorous testing over the past hundred years, is the basis of most of modern medicine, and has never been scientifically disproven...
And, in this corner, we have a fairytale made up by bored sheep herders who believed all the species in the world lived within walking distance of Noah's house, the belief that one should psychically give allegience to a Jewish zombie so that he can remove an evil force from one's soul that is there because a rib-woman ate an apple from a magical tree because a talking snake told her to.

The battle of the century!

Anonymous said...

God created us perfect because He created us in His own image. He loves me and I love myself as well. Therefore, EVERY part of my body is not only necessary but DEFINITELY there for a reason even the ones that some think are useless.

Anonymous said...

You forgot one particular organ I'm sure many people hardly ever use: The Brain.

Coleen said...

Great Post, Thank you. By the way, I just watched "The God who wasn't there", great movie.

Justin said...

Your explanation that "an appendix was used to break down cellulose" is not definitive. That is only a theory. Some scientists now believe it is a bacteria warehouse. So when lets say you get food poison and spend all day on the toilet, your colon empties, good bacteria can move from the appendix into you digestive tract before other bad bacteria take over.

Anonymous said...

Haha, wow, Anonymous showed us a great example of saying absolutly nothing. I am surprised that there are still people who ignorantly advocate their religious drivel. People like that don't belong in our changing world. I go to church and see a distinction between two types of people. People who want to think, and people who want to repeat. Even though humans haven't evolved from birds, plenty of us are trying to copy parrots.

There ARE prominent religious figures who can tell us something intelligible or relevant, it's just people like that who make up the majority.

Lisa said...

What about toe nails? I have lost several due to running and after looking up online found they served no purpose. Fingernails probably as well but they can help with certain things, like opening pop cans. :)

Anonymous said...

human hair is used to keep the body warm stil to this day. the three main places on the human body that have typically have a large amount of hair are; the head, armpits, and genitals. this is for the fact that humans loose the majority of their heat from these places on the body.

the article was very informative, and funny lol

Shannon said...

We need everything in our body fool!
That what Mr. T says and I'm sticking by it.
And cut the God theory, it just makes humans look more foolish than they already are.
All in all-fun article-lots of thought put into it!
Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Body hair has a purpose. It helps to prevent insect bites by triggering a scratching reaction before an insect can get too close to the skin.

Anonymous said...

It is amazing to me to see the amount of unsubstantiated material that gets thrown into the fray as if it is "gospel". Evolution is by definition a theory. It is not able to reproduced nor is it empirical. Two major distinctions in science. Regardless of your "proof"you cannot be intellectually honest and claim evolution as science. As a PhD candidate in Kinesiology with a background in Biology, as well as a follower of Christ, I do have an opinion on this. The numbers are far to staggering to claim anything other than a faith basis for your belief. As for me, I place my faith in the intelligent design of a Creator. Ask yourself this, if the 2nd law of thermodynamics calls for all things to move toward entropy, or chaos, how does such a system organize from nothing. It does not follow any line of logic. I would recommend a book by Michael Behe PhD (Evolutionary Biologist) entitled "Darwin's Black Box" for a look at this argument. You never know, the life you save may just be your own.

Haley said...

Anonymous: you have no idea what you're talking about, admit it! A scientific theory is defined as a testable and unable to be disproven. You can never "prove" a theory, only disprove it. How is it "not able to be reproduced"? We see evolution happening all the time.

Please just admit you were lying about being a biology major. Unless it's biology from Moron University.

Evolution is as much about faith as the belief in gravity. And "Darwin's Black Box" is pretty much ridiculous, irreducible complexity has already been disproved.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I feel that I'm part elephant, monkey, chicken, and donkey. But that's just me. My great great grandfather we had in hiding because he really was sasquach. Sometimes I go to the zoo and I'm like free my brothers and sisters!!! We should all live free, no rules or regulations. I mean what is the purpose if this world we live in was just a chance and has no purpose. Why would I want to be kind or do the right thing. Because there really wouldn't be a right thing. We should all just live to ourselves and our pleasures while we are here on this pointless sphere. I wish we all would just stop arguing and all agree that we are all chimpanzees and they don't go to church or believe in God so I guess We shouldn't have to either. We shouldn't believe in anything bigger than our all knowing genius scientific minds. Wait a second, evolution is still just a theory! Oh, yea. It's an agenda which is so strongly pushed by those rejecting a possibility of something larger in scale. God which put things in order. A perfect wonderful world, perfectly set in space for life to exist. Look at the building blocks for matter, The chances for things to line up on their own on a molecular level and create life all on their own, its mathematically impossible. By the way mutations and especially on the level which evolutionist are claiming have historically been distructive not creative and useful. Why would a group so set on being "scientific" go out of their way to make up phony skulls if their wasn't an agenda that was strongly being pushed. God loves each of us, lets not disregard his handywork. We are all specially made and created in God's image. The carnal mind will only search for and find carnal answers.
Oh well, this may be pearls before the swine but oh well.

ihatelc said...

Well body hair is actually a very important part of our nervous system - hair folicles are responsible in part for our sense of touch.

chunterc101 said...

Evolution is a fact not a theory. God created the world and our bodies. I used this article in a lesson on the Body of Christ. Paul says we who are Christians are part of the body and we all have a use. Too many Sunday morning spectators need to start being the arm or leg God died for them to be. Pastors need to quit being pew sitters and youth pastors baby sitters and equip their SAINTS for action. There are too many Christians in the body of CHrist that act like appendices and do nothing. Don't forget that if you have enemies in the church that brother or sister may be the anus of the body of Christ. They sure stink to you but they are absolutely necesary!!!

Anonymous said...

you guys could power the earth for years with all the energy you are wasting arguing about how we came to be...someone told me pubic hair was also for pleasure...like a brillo i guess ha ha!

a1bossman said...

great post...but there is some evidence [scientific] of the need for an appendix to help keep the colon filled with the right bacteria; it may also help one survive diarrheal diseases by recolonizing the bowel...

Rebecca said...

Great post.
For those of you who keep saying evolution is just a theory- so is gravity. But I don't see you floating in the air now do I?
Also- microevolution has been proven. Macroevolution has not. You can see this clearl explained here, or in the fact that red heads are much less common now. Also, many people are born without wisdom teeth. I mean, they never come in and there is no place for them in there mouth, they also don't show up on x-rays.
One more thing- Not everyone believes in God. It is silly of someone to go on the internet and tell everyone that what they say is wrong simply because of your personal religous beliefs. Have some respect for other people.

Personal Trainer said...

Very awesome list, and I'm sure people ask, if you lost all those things combined would that mean weight loss?

Dacey said...

I don't believe in God or gravity! Chew on that!!

funchy said...

Good list...

but did you see the news about the Appendix? Some now recognize it as a place where gut microorganisms live, so that following a bout of bad diarrhea, the gut can restore quickly.

Body hair serves the purpose of helping with odor: apocrine sweat glands located in pubic region and axillary produce special perspiration that bacteria feed on, which releases odor. Body hair keeps those areas moist and increases surface area exposed to air.

Brodhe said...

nice post, some of these I've heard before- but I do wonder your source?

Some of them are very arguable or simply theoretical.

Anonymous said...

im going to type this in all caps so that people will think about it, then agree that im completely right

MEN HAVE BEARDS TO PROTECT THE SOFT PARTS OF THE NECK FROM PREDATORS. IT IS THE SAME REASON LIONS HAVE MANES. YOUR JUGULAR CANT BE SEVERED AS EASILY IF YOU'VE GOT THICK, MATTED, WIRY HAIR

that's your answer. no big mystery. just think it through.

Mike - Fat Loss Tips said...

Man, this brings me back to biology class. Great post with information I have forgotten!

Mike

ChristianK said...

How about asking those males who have lost their hair whether they consider it to be useless?

rip said...

It looks like there are 2 branches for the comments. So I’ll comment on both:

The list is about things you don’t need that is, they may have a use, but you can live without them. For those who say hair is really important, there are lots of bald people (me one of them) that are still alive and hairless. I guess that some drastic guy will say “well there a lots of people without an arm” but that’s not the same, you get my point. I also agree toenails should be on this list.

On the other hand, First time I read the God comment I really thought it was a joke. I do believe in god but it has nothing to do with this list. You believe in God by fait but, need evidence of evolution? Really?? Saying that we don’t evolve because there is a missing link is like saying modern cars have nothing to do with the first produced car just because they don’t make your 1980 ford anymore.

Charmaine said...

Interesting post. A good compilations. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

uh we definitely need our toes... including the fifth one. just because humans dont use them as much today doesnt mean their vestigial.

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