Sometimes our bodies react in ways we don’t quite understand. Everyday things like yawning, shivering and getting goosebumps, and our reaction to high-pitched noises, are things we don’t really think about in our day to day, but in reality, their functions are more complex than we previously thought! We uncover a list of reactions are body has that are actually defense mechanisms against
According to a 2014 study, yawning is used to cool down our brains and help us think a little clearer! According to a 2014 study, it’s not tiredness or boredom that causes us to yawn, but our brains need lower its body temperature. People associate the act with lack of sleep and tiredness, but exhaustion and sleep deprivation are known to actually increase the temperature of the brain, so it makes sense to yawn more when we’re tired!
People also previously thought that yawning was a respiratory function to help bring extra oxygen during moments of “sluggishness,” but this has been dispelled. Either way, keep yawning to keep your brain temperature low! (Independent)
Sneezing is considered a reflex- when germs, dust, pollen, among many other things, enter our body via the nose, the brain uses sneezing as a way to get these irritants out. Other research has provided evidence that sneezing can also be done to reset our nasal cavity! (Everyday Health)
This is one of those things we, as well as our pets, do without thinking twice about! We instinctively stretch at various moments during the day. When we wake up, when we’ve been sitting at the computer a little too long, when we feel a little fatigued throughout the day. This is actually a natural instinct to help prepare your joints for everything that lies ahead. It can also restore blood flow, and improve our mood! (Sharing the Health)
We’ve all sat in water long enough that our fingers began to prune up! Recently, laboratory tests confirmed that wrinkly fingers can help improve our grips on wet or submerged objects, and also helps us to to channel the waters. Think treads on a car tire, it’s the same type of thinking! (Scientific American)
Reacting to High-Pitched Sounds
The idea of nails to a chalkboard already have us wincing, but this reaction is actual a defense mechanism! Researchers have noted that the high frequencies nails on a chalkboard emit match up with the cries of the macaque monkeys. They think that it was a defense for when something bad was occurring when we were living in groups out in the wild. The warning signals helped us survive back in our early days. (Cracked)
Goosebumps are the same type of action an animal takes when their hairs stand up. Goosebumps happen when tiny muscles at the base of your hair follicles contract and cause our hair to stand on end. This was useful back in the day for a myriad of reasons! First, when we did have hair, it made our hear stand up, and in turn, it made us look bigger and more intimidating. Secondly, when it was cold, goosebumps would occur bring our hair up and help capture some extra air that we could then use to insulate and keep warm.
While goosebumps are a little less helpful in our hairless form, they’ve helped us become the way we are!
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Crying might be associated with emotions, but it’s actually useful for a few reasons besides that! Tears act as a mucous membrane for our eyes “when foreign objects come into contact with it. It helps us protect our most important sense- our sight! Scientists also believe that in stressful situations, our body reacts by crying to bring discomfort to the person or situation that brings us pain and hurting them in the process. (Brightside)
We can get trapped in the hustle and bustle of life, and we forget that our body’s can do truly incredible things and help us get through life as easily as possible. These defense mechanisms have made us an unstoppable force on the planet, so don’t forget to thank your body every once in a while!
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