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Body Evolution: Growing Parts We No Longer Need

The human body really is amazing, capable of extraordinary things.

Our sense of smell can take us back in time, our pupils can reveal our inner most feelings, parts of the body can predict the weather and, under extreme pressure, we can rise to occasion and lift cars to save a life. There are some parts of this miraculous creation, however, that aren’t so spectacular. In fact, they serve no purpose at all.

In this blog, we’ll take a quick look into evolution and the way our bodies and needs have changed over time. Here are some body parts that we just don’t need.

Wisdom teeth

Erupting from our jaws when we are older and “wiser”, our wisdom teeth already have a bad reputation. After all, we got by in our early years without them, and we thought our teething troubles were well and truly gone once we reached adulthood. Once upon a time these pain-producing teeth may have served a great purpose; early humans had a diet that consisted mainly of plants, so having another set of molars was probably handy. However, nowadays, they are pretty much useless and are often just an added medical expense as they need to be removed.

Third eyelid

It seems like something you’d see in an alien movie, but humans did in fact have three eyelids. The transparent third eyelid is still present in some animals, such as birds, reptiles and sharks, and are useful for protection and moisture whilst not disrupting vision. Remnants of our third eyelid are still visible today – found next to our tear duct.

Body hair

Some style it, colour it and make it a part of their personality, others do all they can to remove as much of it as possible, but is hair necessary? While some sections of hair do serve a purpose – our eyebrows keep sweat out of our eyes, beards may be linked to sexual attraction and hair on our head can insulate heat – most of the hair on our bodies serve no purpose at all.

Male nipples

While all human foetuses develop nipples before gender is determined, the male nipple does not serve a purpose. Interestingly, however, there are some males that are capable of lactating.

Appendix

This little addition to our bodies can be quite deceiving. Due to its location between the small and large intestine, you would assume that this body part would assist in digestion – it doesn’t. In fact, we can’t tell you what the function of the appendix actually is. Some experts believe it may have served a purpose when the human diet consisted mainly of plants. All we know for sure is that we can certainly live without one now. 

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