The body is very clever. Right now, as you read this, thousands of processes are happening all over your body to keep you alive and well.
But one anomaly is the body parts that our ancestors may have once needed that no longer serve any purpose, but hang around anyway (and sometimes cause problems).
1. Wisdom teeth
These teeth usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25, but a lot of people end up getting them removed at the dentists. This is because there isn’t any room for them in the mouth. It’s thought wisdom teeth were used by our ancestors to break down certain foods - but we don't need them now.
2. Extrinsic ear muscles
In dogs and rabbits, having ear muscles makes sense because they move their ears. Humans don’t really need the ability to do that - but we have the muscles left over from our ancestors anyway.
Tonsils form a part of the lymphatic system, which is important for our immune system. But testament to their usefulness is the number of people who have them removed every year without any difference to their health. Not only are they prone to infection, but can also get cancer, too.
4. The appendix
Talking of getting organs removed, the appendix is another one many people have taken out. The appendix is attached to the large intestine, but its function has stumped scientists. Some say it's completely useless; another theory is that it stores good bacteria to reboot into the system after bouts of diarrhea.
5. Darwin’s point
This is a small fold of skin that forms on 10 per cent of people’s ears. There’s confusion over where it came from, but some research suggests it may have once allowed the ear to swivel or flop down. Our ancestors were weird.
6. Male nipples
It’s rather obvious why women have nipples, but men don’t typically breastfeed their babies. The reason males have them is because every foetus starts off the same – and the female body is the initial template.
7. Plica Semilunaris
Otherwise known as the pink bit in the inner corners of the eye, the plica semilunaris doesn’t do anything to enhance our vision, but it can help with draining tears.
8. The coccyx
Otherwise known as the tailbone, situated at the bottom of the spine. One theory is that it was used by our ancestors to balance, because they might have had some form of tail.
There’s a lot of confusion around why we still have sinuses, since the only thing they’re good for now is to fill with mucus, cause headaches and host infections.
10. Body hair
Our ancestors needed body hair to protect them and keep them warm, whereas we spend years of our life trying to get rid of it.
The gallbladder, situated just under the liver, can cause a lot of problems, and doesn't do much in exchange. It’s also prone to cancer, inflammation, and gallstones.
12. The arrector pili
These are a group of muscle fibres attached to hair follicles to let our hair stand on end so we appear bigger to other predators. Oh wait…