5 Weird Things the Human Body Does and Why
Human bodies do a lot of weird things. Have you ever wondered why your body does what it does? Let’s take a look at five weird things the human body does and why these wacky occurrences take place.
It Has a Nose and Ears That Don’t Stop Growing
Most of your body stops growing once puberty is over. But your ears and nose continue to grow as you age. They consist mainly of cartilage, which is the most common kind of connective tissue found in the body. Some people claim that cartilage never stops growing. Cartilage does eventually stop growing, though—normally at the same time as the rest of the body.
But what, then, causes noses and ears to increase in size as we age? It’s gravity! As we age, cartilage weakens and starts to droop. This causes our earlobes and noses to stretch. And since the rest of the face usually thins with age, our nose and ears look comparatively huge.
Itching happens when the body’s pruriceptors—the nerve endings that perceive itching sensations—are stimulated. And a lot of different things can stimulate these nerves. Allergies, cold weather, dryness, irritation, and skin conditions are just a few of the things that can cause your skin to feel itchy. Itchiness on your scalp can also be due to lice or dandruff.
It Wrinkles in Water
It’s happened to all of us: after we take a long soak in the tub or swim at the local pool, our hands and feet look like wrinkly prunes. Why does the water wrinkle our skin? The general consensus is that wrinkling serves a beneficial evolutionary function. Wrinkled fingers and toes provide improved grip in wet conditions. This likely helped our ancestors forage food from wet areas and walk around barefoot during the rain.
It Aches in Anticipation of Bad Weather
The old wives’ tale that claims that joints ache more in bad weather is actually true! During stormy weather, barometric pressure drops. This causes tendons, muscles, and scar tissue to expand and contract, which can result in pain. Cold weather can also make joints ache. Some medical professionals think this is because the circulatory system doesn’t function as efficiently in cold weather, which means muscles and joints receive less blood.
It Goes Numb Sometimes
Another weird thing the human body does is go numb. A common misconception is that limbs that have fallen “asleep” are caused by a lack of blood flow. In actuality, these numb, tingly limbs are caused by temporary compression of the nerves. You know how when you bend a hose, the water stops coming out? Likewise, when you sit on your leg or lean on your arm for too long, the nerves in that area get kinked. This prevents them from sending signals to your brain. And since your brain isn’t receiving signals from that area, it just assumes you don’t have that limb anymore. It’s an easy mistake to make!