There are many parts of the human body that actually have very little to no purpose. Some of them are what experts call “evolutionary leftovers”—body parts which are no longer useful but still remained in the human body for millions of years. Let’s go over the list below:
The appendix is always known to be a useless but troublesome organ. Researchers claim that the appendix might have been used by humans to digest plants that were rich in cellulose. However, due to a shift in our diet, they do not have a use anymore. Right now, they only stay in our bodies to get infected and rupture, developing appendicitis. Most herbivorous animals still use their appendix to help process plants.
2 Third Eyelid
Most of us only know about double eyelids but there is actually a third eyelid called plica semilunaris. It is located next to the tear duct and were used to sweep away debris from the eye. However, humans are unable to control this tissue anymore. Some mammals still have a third eyelid though.
3 Wisdom Teeth
Why do we even have wisdom teeth? It only causes pain and misaligns our jaws. With the evolution of human society, our diet has shifter to softer and easy-to-chew foods, making our jaws smaller than before. So the third set of molars cannot fit our jaws anymore and that becomes the wisdom teeth. Nowadays only around 35 percent of people develop wisdom teeth.
4 Erector Pili
Why do people have goosebumps? The culprits are these erector pili aka arrector pili muscles which are attached to the follicles of the hair in our body. They make the hair, or in case of animals, the fur to stand on end when they contract. Our ancestors, who had more body hair, benefits from this especially when it’s cold as it provides insulation. In some animals just like the porcupine, they are used for protection.
5 Darwin’s Point
One out of ten people develops a small fold on the area of the upper ear. This is known as Darwin’s point or Darwin’s tubercle. According to studies, this might have been a joint that allowed our ear to move. Supposedly, humans were able to swivel or flop down their ears before. Just like your pet dog or cat’s ears when you stroke them.
Tonsils are lymph nodes which trap bacteria that enter to our mouth. However, they often got infected that they are more trouble for what they’re worth. For those with recurring tonsillitis, doctors may suggest to remove them.
7 Male Nipples
What are male nipples for? Under natural circumstances, men don’t have the ability to lactate. According to experts, fetuses of both sexes initially develop the same way. Later, testosterone enters the stage to trigger the formation of male sex organs. Too bad, nipples have already begun to develop by then.
8 Vestigial muscle
The vestigial muscle or palmaris longus helped our early ancestors in climbing trees and strengthening their grip. However, now, it does not affect our grips anymore.
The coccyx or tailbone is a leftover from when our very distant ancestors have tails. Now it has no use except giving us pain when we sit for too long on hard surfaces.
10 Vomeronasal Organ
This is a specialized sensory organ in the nose of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals which are used to detect chemicals. In humans, it used to detect pheromones. However, they do not function anymore.