We all have something we claim we couldn’t live without — chocolate, travel, Netflix… you name it.
But it seems we all have more than a few body parts we could definitely get by without.
So let’s take a dive into the world of vestigial organs and body parts; that is, the ones we needed to function thousands of years ago, but are no longer necessary today.
The appendix is a tiny pouch located where the small and large intestines meet. According to Dr Andrew Rochford, who recently spoke to radio duo Fitzy and Wippa about redundant body parts, it was designed to digest certain plant materials that we no longer eat.
Now, due to evolution, we no longer need it; it’s simply a surplus organ. Though anyone who has suffered from appendicitis will attest it’s very good at becoming inflamed, infected and then rupturing.
Watch: One body part that’s actually useful? Your vagina. Here are some facts you mightn’t know about it. (Post continues after video.)
2. Male nipples
We all begin as women in the womb. It’s only after 60 days that, for those with the Y chromosome, testosterone kicks in and changes the genetic activity in the brain and genitals.
Nipples are one inherited trait men just so happen to keep. Despite serving no real purpose, these features do no harm, and therefore have not been weeded out by natural selection.
But that doesn’t mean we should be taking matters into our own hands. Take 18-year-old Spanish-Moroccan ‘artist’ Karim Boumjimar, for instance, who cut off his nipples and belly button and sold them online (#edgy). PSA: Do not try this at home.
Image via Twitter.
3. Muscles behind the ear
Unless you're the cool kid in primary school who can wiggle their ears, these muscles serve no purpose.
In fact, we humans haven't used them since we were prey to wild animals. Back then, these muscles would have allowed our ancestors to pivot their ears in different directions to locate sounds. Biologist Charles Darwin claimed the need for these muscles were compensated for when humans began to position their heads to capture sound.
(Image via GIPHY.)
These are small hollow air pockets in your nose that can give you a shocking headache. Whether they have other uses is debatable.
"They don’t really know why we’ve got those. I mean, it makes sense for people with heavy heads because it makes their head lighter, but they don’t really know," Dr Rochford told Fitzy and Wippa.
Upon research, however, the sinuses would seem to serve many functions. They first filter and humidify the air we breathe, and also protect our vital structures in trauma situations, functioning as crumple zones. But you won't be appreciating all that when you've got a stuffed nose.