Healthy Living

10 Useless Human Body Parts: What You Do And Don't Need

Useless Body Parts
10 body parts that humans don't need. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

We all have body parts that are absolutely necessary such as the heart, brain, lungs, kidneys, stomach, etc., but we also have body parts that are pretty much useless. Let’s take a look at some human body parts that serve very little or no purpose:

1. Plica semilunaris (Third Eyelid)

Fragments of a third eyelid known as the plica semilunaris can be found next to the tear duct. Although it is not needed for survival or vision, it does serve a purpose. During eye movement, the plica semilunaris ensures tear drainage and sweeps debris away from the eye.

2. Darwin’s Point (Top Skin Fold On Ear)

Darwin’s point, also known as Darwin’s tubercle, is a small fold of skin that forms on 10 percent of people’s upper ear. Its origins are unclear, however, research shows it may have been a joint that allowed the ear to swivel or flop down.

3. Body Hair

Hair on our head can insulate heat, eyebrows keep sweat out of our eyes, and male facial hair could play a role in sexual attraction, but what do we need body hair for?

4. Vomeronasal Organ

Vomeronasal organ, or Jacobson’s organ, is found on the olfactory system of amphibians, reptiles, and mammals. Described as chemoreceptors, this non-functioning specialized sensory system in the nose is used to detect chemicals, in the case of humans, pheromones.

5. Wisdom Teeth

Other than being extremely painful to remove, wisdom teeth serve no purpose with the exception of misaligning our jaw and impeding on dental hygiene. Today, around 35 percent of the population no longer develops their third and final set of molars.

6. Auricular Muscles

Anterior, posterior, and superior auricular muscles surround the outer ear and are used to swivel some animal’s ears towards the direction of sound, but serve no purpose with humans. Unless you find it funny when people can wiggle their ears.

7. Coccyx

Found at the very end of vertebral column, the coccyx is comprised of three to five vertebrae below the sacrum that are either separate or fused together. The coccyx, or tailbone, is a vertebrae leftover from when our distant ancestors were walking around with tails.

8. Erector Pili

Erector pili, or arrector pili muscles, are tiny muscles that are attached to our hair follicles via smooth muscle fibers. When these muscles contract they cause hair to stand on end, something we commonly refer to as goose bumps.

9. Appendix

While the appendix is found between the small intestine and large intestine it plays no role in digestion. Experts suggest it may have served a purpose when the human diet was mostly made up of plants. Now it only becomes inflamed and infected before finally rupturing when someone develops appendicitis.

10. Male Nipples

Why do men have nipples anyway? All human fetuses develop nipples even before our gender is determined. While it is rare, men are capable of lactating. 

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