Bodies do a lot of weird things to adapt to different environments
Bodies are weird—let’s just get that fact out of the way.
Whether they’re giving life, sweating, or just existing, there are more intricacies about the human body than meets the eye. With so many things going on that we’ve accepted as a common occurrence, have you ever stopped to think about why it was happening? We’ve rounded up common and weird ways some bodies reacts under certain circumstances.
1. Fingers turning into prunes
Things get wet when they’re slippery, so your body’s way of adapting to long periods of time under water is turning your finger pads into little prune pads. According to the Scientific American, that weird prune-ness is “optimized for providing a drainage network that improved grip.”
2. Brain freeze
Slurping back your milkshake has it’s consequences. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty of it, Forbes reports that what is happening is your “blood vessels near the back of your throat first rapidly constrict from the coldness and then dilate when the blood vessels become warmer again.” These pull tissue and trigger a nerve that cause the headache. It’s basically a way for your body of saying “slow down.” Milkshakes are always worth a brain freeze, though.
Shivering is the body’s way of keeping warm. By expending energy with small movements, the body is working to raise temperature back up to a healthy 98.6°F. Pretty simple, and pretty neat.
4. Get taller in space
NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s time in space illuminated a variety of information on what space does to the body—including height, thanks to spinal column disks. “On Earth, the disks are slightly compressed due to gravity. In space, that compression is no longer present causing the disks to expand,” CNBC reported. “The result: the spine lengthens, and the astronaut is taller.” Badabing, badaboom.
5. “Feeling” weather changes
While based on majority anecdotal evidence, there might be a bit of truth to the claims that some people can “feel” a storm coming because of achy knees. Cold weather can cause nerve endings in tissues around joints to be feel some sort of “tightness” or “stiffness,” the Weather Channel wrote.
There’s a reason for them, though it’s not that useful of one. Because humans don’t have much body hair, the “contraction of miniature muscles that are attached to each hair” that occurs when we get goosebumps aren’t as useful for insulation as they are with animals, according to Scientific American. So while we get bumps in the cold, they don’t help us stay warm at all unfortunately. As for the times you’re emotional and get goosebumps, blame that on adrenaline—also released when we’re cold.
And now you know! Go forth, and watch weird things happen to your body.