Unnecessary Body Parts
It is a common perception that not any part of the body is useless; but actually there are some. Here are some facts about the body parts we don’t actually need.
A tiny pit on each side of the septum is lined with nonfunctioning chemoreceptors. They may be all that remains of a once extensive pheromone-detecting ability.
EXTRINSIC EAR MUSCLES
This trio of muscles most likely made it possible for prehominids to move their ears independently of their heads, as rabbits and dogs do. We still have them, which is why most people can learn to wiggle their ears.
Adenoids are masses of lymphoid tissue that are located at the very back of the nose. These tissues are part of the immune system and trap bacteria that can cause viruses. However, they only provide a strong defense against bacteria that is inhaled. As you grow, your adenoids shrink, which makes them useless. They are only helpful when you are a child.
This third set of molars is largely useless, doing little beyond crowding the mouth and sometimes causing pain.
Early humans had to chew a lot of plants to get enough calories to survive, making another row of molars helpful. Only about 5 percent of the population has a healthy set of these third molars.
This long, narrow muscle runs from the elbow to the wrist and is missing in 11 percent of modern humans. It may once have been important for hanging and climbing. Surgeons harvest it for reconstructive surgery.
Bundles of smooth muscle fibers allow animals to puff up their fur for insulation or to intimidate others. Humans retain this ability (goose bumps are the indicator) but have obviously lost most of the fur.
Yep, your appendix is basically useless. While it does produce some white blood cells, most people are fine with an appendectomy.
This narrow, muscular tube attached to the large intestine served as a special area to digest cellulose when the human diet consisted more of plant matter than animal protein. It also produces some white blood cells. Annually, more than 300,000 Americans have an appendectomy.
While facial hair serves some purposes, the hair found on the rest of body is practically useless and can be removed with few ill effects.
Brows help keep sweat from the eyes, and male facial hair may play a role in sexual selection, but apparently most of the hair left on the human body serves no function.
Yeah, men have one too — sort of. A remnant of an undeveloped female reproductive organ hangs off the male prostate gland.
FIFTH TOE OR PINKIE TOE
FEMALE VAS DEFERENS
What might become sperm ducts in males become the epoophoron in females, a cluster of useless dead-end tubules near the ovaries.
COCCYX OR THE TAIL BONE
These fused vertebrae are all thatâ€™s left of the tail that most mammals still use for balance and communication. Our hominid ancestors lost the need for a tail before they began walking upright.
The nasal sinuses of our early ancestors may have been lined with odor receptors that gave a heightened sense of smell, which aided survival. No one knows why we retain these perhaps troublesome mucus-lined cavities, except to make the head lighter and to warm and moisten the air we breathe.