The 5 Strangest Things Evolution Left In Your Body

#2. Auriculares Muscles (aka the Reason Some People Can Wiggle Their Ears)

Can you wiggle your ears? If you can, you have an ability that about 85 percent of the population doesn't. The muscles that control ear wiggling are the Auriculares muscles that surround the outer ear (the part we can see). Aside from once being able to impress your friends on the schoolyard, they've never been much use to you.

But that wasn't always the case. Thanks our auriculares muscles, our ears were able to do some pretty incredible things once upon a time.

Certain show-offs notwithstanding.

But Why?

Some mammals can move their ears in different directions to pinpoint the locations of sounds. This is especially important to small animals that don't have a great view of their surroundings because they're so close to the ground. They also come in handy when someone's trying to mount your skull above their fireplace.

Millions of years of evolution still won't protect you from a redneck with coffee and a rifle.

Our primate ancestors used to have directional control over their ears too but lost the need for this ability because of our tendency to live in groups. This made the collective vision of the group our main line of defense. Remember what we said earlier about how high-pitched shrieks were probably some kind of vocal alarm to alert the rest of the tribe? Directional hearing would have helped with that sort of thing.

Over time, we've gotten to the point where most of us can't even wiggle our ears, let alone point them at different angles.

We can totally do this, though.

#1. Wisdom Teeth and the Appendix

If you still have your appendix and all of your wisdom teeth in your body, consider yourself lucky. You have a seven percent chance of developing an appendicitis in your lifetime and a whopping 85 percent chance of having at least one impacted wisdom tooth. Both of these things require surgery.

Not only can you live without these features, but you live better without them. All they do is get in the way and/or get infected. They're just pointless extra bullshit.

But Why?

In both cases it appears to be leftover equipment from an era when we used to eat a lot more leaves, before we converted to our modern burrito-based diet.

Although some of us prefer enchiritos.

Your wisdom teeth get impacted and infected because you don't have room for them, and you don't have room for them because they came about when earlier versions of humans had larger jaws, which were more suited to chewing up plant matter. Grinding up leaves as opposed to soft meat and/or pizza is hard work and it requires more teeth to spread out the load. Especially because you have to eat so much of it.

Salad isn't generally considered "filling."

As for the appendix, the most popular theory is that it once helped in digesting all these greens. It's an extension of the cecum, an organ that is much larger in herbivores than carnivores because it's used to break down the tremendous amount cellulose they take in. Since we no longer have a need for this extension of the cecum, it has shrunk into a vestigial organ that looks like a worm. That's just one theory. There actually hasn't been all that much study into the appendix because, you know, who gives a shit what it does.

For more things evolution left us to deal with, check out 6 Insane Dog Behaviors Explained by Evolution and 6 Formerly Kickass Creatures Ruined by Evolution.

And stop by Linkstorm to discover how Internet memes have grown increasingly stupider.

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