5 curiosities about the human body that science can not explain
The human body is a miracle of nature. We can throw objects over 160 km / h, make spectacular jumps while we glide gently on ice and fly in space. Yes, in many ways, the human body is a masterpiece of natural perfection.
For that very reason, it is no surprise that researchers have great difficulty in unraveling their mysteries. And when we realize that we can not explain the simplest things about the human body, we understand that science still has a very long way to go …
1. Why are we chewing?
We are yawning when we’re tired. We are yawning when we are bored. We yawning when we see others how they do. Indeed, we all know when we yawning, but scientists have not yet reached a consensus explaining this behavior.
For a while, yawn considered an unconditional body reflex to get more oxygen, but this theory was eventually denied. Gordon Gallup, a professor of psychology at Albany University, is of the opinion that the purpose of yawning is to cool the temperature of the brain.
Gallup believes that things associated with yawning – such as the need for sleep – cause the increase in brain temperature, which automatically activates the body’s “natural air conditioning device”: yawning.
When we are yawning, the warmer blood of the brain is (according to Gallup) replaced by the colder blood from the rest of the body that carries fresh oxygen. It sounds plausible, but until this theory is proven, no one will believe it.
However, researchers are convinced that the act of yawning is one of the primitive functions of the human body and even one of the first things we do immediately after birth. The fetus yawning in the uterus in the first trimester of pregnancy. Also, yawning binds us to the rest of the animals, as Charles Darwin said:
“When I see how yawning a dog, a horse and a man, I think how all beings are created by the same – unique – structure.”
Yawning is contagious, it can happen for a multitude of reasons. Some researchers believe it is a form of empathy. Perhaps the most plausible theory is that the act of yawning was, in primitive society, a gesture transmitted by an individual (and taken over and given away by others) that it is time for action (sleeping).
Yawning is so odd that we know that it is very likely that you, reader, may be yawning at least once reading this text or looking at the image above. So next time when you yawning, think that you received a message from our primitive ancestors, even though, over the millennia, we forgot how to decipher it.
And if you tend to yawning long and noisy, enjoy it! Long yawning is associated with large brains. So you’re not a rude person, but a very smart man.
2. What role does the appendix have?
If you read this article, there is a statistical probability of 6% to have undergone a removal operation (or to go through such a thing at some point in life).
Doctors and scientists have not yet reached a consensus on the purpose of this tubular organ in the human body, although it seems that we can live without problems even after it is removed from the body. Then why do we have an appendix?
The traditional (evolutionist) explanation is that the appendix is a fossil organ, which had a definite purpose in the immemorial times of the ancestors of our species. But some researchers, such as Loren Martin, professor of psychology at the University of Oklahoma, the US, are of the opinion that the appendix still plays a well-defined role in the human body.
According to it, the appendix plays an important role in the development of the human embryo and later in the early stage of the individual’s maturity, producing substances that the human body needs.
The appendix seems to have an important role of “reserve,” especially when the bladder does not work properly or is surgically removed. According to Loren Martin, doctors can modify by surgery the appendix to take over the bladder function in case of need.
3. Why do women have big breasts?
In public, women cover this part of their body, although more and more countries allow women to appear in naked breasts wherever they are allowed and men to walk naked.
However, man is the only species whose female individuals have large breasts throughout life (in animals, breasts swell during breastfeeding). Why only women have breasts, and primates, no, is a mystery.
In primates, large breasts are a clear indication that the female breastfeeding, while in people, large breasts do not even indicate that the woman can have children. It could be just a matter of sexual attraction, if we accept the theory that our ancestors liked symmetrical and large breasts (signs that the woman is healthy), which is why evolution has chosen it.
However, not everyone agrees with this explanation. Some think that big breasts are about with the evolution of the lactation process.
Florence Williams, the author of “Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History,” believes that large breasts are the result of evolution that favored them to ease the process of breastfeeding.
4. Why are we right and left (or ambidextrins)?
We all know that most people are right-handed. Probably each of us colleagues in college was considered “weird” for the simple fact that they were writing with their left hand. One thing less well known is that scientists have studied this particularity for over 160 years without discovering the reason why some of us are left-handed and others right-handed.
It is possible that this feature is genetically inherited, but certainly can not be inferred only from studying the behavior of an individual’s parents. More plausible is that the preference for the use of left or right limbs is influenced by cultural and social mechanisms such as family and school.
There are known cases of parents and teachers who have gone so far as to forbid children to write to the left. Some researchers have even suggested that left-handed babies suffered birth or early childhood brain injury, but this theory has proven to be an aberration.
Regardless of what we are divided into left and right (and ambidextrins – those who use both members with the same ease), this differentiation will continue, probably as long as there will be people on Earth.
5. Why do we dream?
Some people complain that they dream very rarely, but with all of us we have at least once experienced a dream that cheered us, made us think or deeply troubled us. So why do we dream? What are these “movies”, pictures of images, sounds and sensations that we perceive during sleep?
Darren Lipnicki, from the Center for Space Medicine in Berlin, believes that the responsible for producing these “bizarre” called dreams is the Earth’s magnetic field. According to this researcher, the geomagnetic field could play a role in the secretion of melatonin. However, as is the case with other theories, it needs more studies to be confirmed.
Austrian psychiatrist Sigmund Freud believed that dreams are our hidden desires. Other theorists, on the other hand, claim that dreams are simulations by which our brains are trained to deal with hypothetical dangerous situations, thus increasing our chances of survival.
Some psychologists believe that dreams regulate our mood in the long run, or that they have a role in cataloging and storing, in memories, the information we get during waking.
Regardless of theory, despite numerous studies, science can not yet explain why we dream. The fact is that without dreams, life would be a much poorer place.