The human body is more than flesh and muscle and bones. It's a amazing machine with lots of individual parts working in concert to give life to a wonderful whole. And while most of those parts are crucial or at least important to making a body work well, some of them are, not to put too fine a point on it, utterly useless. Need examples? Take the appendix for one. The only time you ever even hear about the appendix is when someone’s get inflamed, threatening to burst and kill them. It’s a piece of your body lying dormant, potentially planning your destruction. What a piece of garbage.
While it’s true that the appendix isn’t necessary to survive, recent evidence suggests it’s not as totally useless as previously thought. Researchers now believe its purpose is to store beneficial gut bacteria. This helps support the immune system.
Back when humans were little more than animals, armpit hair was attractive. Literally. Before we achieved civilization, perfume and deodorant, human armpit hair trapped our pheromone-rich sweat for sexual signaling. In other words, your pit stink is supposed to get you laid.
The auricular tubercle, aka Darwin’s point, is a small nub of extra skin that some people, but not everyone, have in the foldy outer ridge of their ears. It’s a stupid piece of nothing that’s so pointless, you may not have heard of it even if you have one.
The auricular tubercle is left over from when we were pointy-eared monkeys. Charles Darwin wrote of them, “In many monkeys ... the upper portion of the ear is slightly pointed, and the margin is not at all folded inwards; but if the margin were to be thus folded, a slight point would necessarily project inwards towards the centre; and this I believe to be their origin.”
Goosebumps is an awesome series of spooky stories for ‘90s kids. It’s also the little bumps that sprout all over your skin to let you know that you’re scared. As if you wouldn’t notice your own racing heart and brain filling up with fear. It also happens when you’re cold.
If goosebumps seem pointless, remember that humans used to be way more hairy. If one of our hairy ancestors felt threatened, i.e., scared, goosebumps would make body hair stand on end, giving the appearance of a larger, more intimidating size. And it did the same in cold to keep the body warm.
Everyone loves nipples. They look great, they’re fun to play with, and they nourish infant lives. But only zero to two of those attributes apply to men. In all practical ways, nipples on men are completely useless.
There’s no evolutionary reason why men have nipples. It’s because human embryos develop the same way over the first few weeks regardless of sex, and nipples happen during this period. Later, the Y chromosome dictates a male embryo’s male parts, but the nipples are there to stay.
It’s called the coccyx, but that’s too hard to say without giggling. So we call it a tailbone, which is so much more descriptive and helpful anyway. It also let’s you know how useless it is, because it’s associated with a body part we don’t even have: a tail.
But we sure used to have tails. Just look at our monkey ancestors; their tails are awesome. Tails provide balance, but sometimes they function as extra limbs. Why did we evolve out of having tails? Just so we can stand upright? Evolution is stupid.
Tonsils aren’t actually useless, just expendable. They’re part of your body’s immune response. They’re your first line of defense against inhaled or swallowed pathogens. No wonder they get infected, like, all the time.
The reason why we have wisdom teeth is because our ancestors needed them to chew course, raw food. Humans had bigger jaws back them, so there was room for the extra teeth, especially when other molars fell out, which they did, because there were no dentists.