The human body is a pretty impressive piece of machinery. It’s very cleverly set up, and almost every element serves an important role. Many or most aspects of our biology are crucial to the overall healthy functioning of the whole. Some we can survive without but are definitely beneficial and serve a purpose when we have them. However, there are one or two bits of our biology that have become completely redundant. They are a relic of our ancient lifestyles, habits, and diets and are now no longer needed. In fact, in some cases, they have become a bit of a hindrance to us. Evolution has yet to catch up and lighten our bodies of the below unnecessary features.
It’s unclear why we have the appendix, but it is thought that it may have played a role in digestion when humans had a more exclusively herbivore diet. As we have evolved to have a more varied diet and moved away from leaves to fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats, the appendix may have become an increasingly unnecessary organ.
Nowadays, for many of us, the appendix sits dormant next to our intestines for our entire lives, causing us no problems at all. However, for others, it is a ticking time bomb. At any moment and for seemingly no reason whatsoever, it can become inflamed and infected, and, at this point, it needs to be removed quickly. Appendicitis can be very dangerous if left untreated. If an infected appendix bursts, the infection contained can be released into the bloodstream, which has the potential to be life-threatening.
They don’t appear to make us wiser, so what is their purpose? Again, it’s not entirely clear but seems to be linked to our ancient diet. Yet, while our diets have evolved, our jawlines haven’t entirely caught up, and so many of us continue to develop this large extra tooth at the back of our mouths.
Today, wisdom teeth can cause a barrage of problems. Sometimes there simply isn’t enough space for them, and so they grow sideways into the jaw or displace other teeth. Other times, food and bacteria become trapped under the gums when wisdom teeth do not fully emerge. Wisdom teeth can be a headache, figuratively and literally. If you’re struggling with yours, you can visit https://bestdentistinhouston.com/blog/wisdom-teeth-removal-cost/ to get some expert advice and find out whether extraction could be beneficial for you.
The Palmaris Longus is a muscle that makes up part of the wrist joint. It is thought to hold a link to our tree-swinging ancestors. The muscle can be found in animals that continue to live in the trees, such as the Orangutan and the Lemur. However, it serves no apparent purpose for humans these days, and, in fact, about 10% of humans are now born without this peculiar muscle. Those special people can perhaps consider themselves a little more evolved than the rest of us, at least as far as their wrists are concerned.
This one, unlike the above examples, causes us no apparent problems. It’s a harmless extra feature and just a fun throwback to those days of swinging through the treetops.
Our bodies are fascinating and intricate, and they are constantly adapting over time. Who knows which organs or elements will have been lost or gained in the next few million years. Only time will tell.