Some organs of our body do not perform any function. It’s all about evolution, which made them “superfluous.” For example, the appendix is not an important part of the body, but some studies claim that the rudimentary process of the caecum contains bacteria that are beneficial to our gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes, the appendix can be inflamed or even ruptured, which requires an immediate surgical operation to remove the organ. Some other parts of our body played an important role in the survival of our very distant ancestors, but with the time, they also became useless. Some useless human body parts can even be removed surgically, and their absence will not reduce the quality of human life.
Here are 9 body parts you can live without, despite the fact that are no longer working in the course of evolution.
An appendix is one of the most useless human body parts. Many years ago, the appendix was involved in the digestive process, helping to process coarse as well as plant foods rich in fiber. Many herbivores still use it in digestive processes, but it is no longer part of the human digestive system.
At the same time, the appendix cannot be called a completely useless organ. According to some studies, there are some beneficial intestinal bacteria in the appendix, but scientists have not yet figured it out, whether it was always a functional organ or our body has just acquired it over time.
2. Long palmar muscle from wrist to elbow
If you put your hand on a flat surface, palm up and close your thumb with your little finger, and then slightly lift your fingers, you can see a protruding ligament just below your wrist. This ligament is called the long palmar muscle. Researchers said that earlier, this muscle had been used by our ancestors for climbing trees.
According to the British Encyclopedia, this muscle, most likely, helped in strengthening the grip while jumping from one tree to another. But about 3.2 million years ago, when our ancestors began to walk on their legs, this muscle eventually lost its benefit.
About 10 percent of modern people have this muscle completely absent. At the same time, the strength of their grip is no different from those who have this muscle.
3. No longer need a very powerful jaw
Our jaws are smaller than our ancestors had. Because of this, there was a problem with the wisdom teeth, which had not enough space.
Today, not all people have the so-called “wisdom teeth”. This is due to the fact that earlier, these teeth allowed our ancestors to chew hard food. Now, we consume cooked food, it is much softer than raw, that’s why we do not need such teeth anymore.
4. Arrector pili muscle
Arrector pili are the muscle fibers that, when reduced, cause goosebumps. It can manifest itself in a variety of situations: when you listen to your favorite music, watch your favorite movie, you are cold, scared, or, on the contrary, very good.
Our ancestors had a thicker hairline and these muscle fibers performed a very useful function. In case of danger, this made our ancestors much more massive, which, in turn, could scare away the enemy.
In animals with dense fur, the arrector pili still perform a useful function – it helps retain more heat. In addition, as in the case of our ancestors, these fibers help with protection. For example, porcupines definitely benefit from them.
5. A human embryo develops a tail at 5-8 weeks
By the time of birth, the tail disappears, leaving behind only a few rudimentary vertebrae intergrown between themselves, which form the tailbone.
The theory of evolution tells us that our ancestors had tails that helped them to balance, however, with the advent of a sensible upright walking skill, the need for a tail disappeared, in fact, like the tail itself.
In medicine, there are cases of the birth of babies with more pronounced tails. This happens very rarely but still occurs. Fortunately, surgeons can easily remove it during the operation.
6. The ear muscles surrounding the auricle
They were formerly actively used by our ancestors, but now, they do not perform any useful function for modern humans, so we add them to the list of useless human body parts.
Other animals use these muscles to determine the danger or when catching prey. In addition, some animals use the movement of ears for the expression of emotions.
Cats, due to their ability to move their ears, have excellent hearing
Some people can still move their ears a little, but this doesn’t compare with what our ancestors were capable of.
7. The pyramidal muscle in the lower abdomen
The pyramidal muscle located in the lower abdomen has the shape of a triangle. People can have from zero to two such muscles, but now, they are just counted as the useless human body parts.
The pyramidal muscle can help squeeze the linea alba‘s white abdominal line but is not related to the function of the abdominal muscles.
Approximately 20 percent of people do not have any pyramidal muscles.
8. Condition with Embryos
Embryos initially develop in the same way, both males and females, and only in some time, testosterone begins the formation of male genital organs. However, nipples develop before this hormone begins to act.
Under natural conditions, men cannot lactate, but this effect can cause high levels of prolactin, a hormone that helps produce milk. Lactation is a side effect of cardiac digoxin medication.
And although many male mammals in extreme situations can lactate, only the Dayak fruit bat, found in Southeast Asia, lactates spontaneously.
The semilunar fold or the third eyelid is a fold of tissue in the inner corner of the eye. It resembles the membranes that some animals (reptiles, birds, and certain mammals) use to protect their eyes.
It’s not quite clear why people no longer have them. But in fact, they are rare among primates, so we must have lost them a long time ago.