Why do we get goosebumps? (Thinkstock)
Why do we get goosebumps?
Lexile

You asked us, "Why do we get goosebumps?"
 
Goosebumps are actually a useless holdover from our hairier days and we get them in reaction to the cold, to fear or any other strong emotion.
 
What happens is, when we walk into a freezer or suddenly find ourselves face-to-face with a grizzly, the part of our brain called the hypothalamus kicks in.
 
It signals our body to produce adrenaline, which then causes muscles at the base of our hairs to contract and stand on end.
 
We're not exactly covered in a dense coat of hair these days . . . well, at least not most of us . . . so all we see are raised bumps.
 
But back in the good old days, those raised hairs allowed us to trap a layer of air, insulating us from the cold, and this hair-raising reaction also had the benefit of making us look bigger to predators, which gave us a fraction of time to either run or 'bring it.'
 
Well, I'll be a monkey's uncle! Er, distant relative . . . whatever.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What does the author mean by “run or ‘bring it.’?”
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (11)
  • briannec-ste
    9/02/2015 - 10:02 a.m.

    Now I know why we get goosebumps. I always thought it was due to trying to keep in the warmth that was leaving the body

  • keaton-hab
    9/03/2015 - 11:10 a.m.

    why do we get goose bumps and our hair stands up and we get cold and it stands up. and it is weird to get goose bumps.

  • christopher-1-hab
    9/03/2015 - 12:15 p.m.

    The story is about goosebumps. How we get the goosebumps is being cold, scared,or cold air comes by you get goosbumps.

  • TalaB-Iov
    9/08/2015 - 10:28 p.m.

    Either to run means to run from a predator
    or bring it in like bring it on and
    fight.

  • olgan-4-bar
    9/16/2015 - 11:48 p.m.

    Run means to escape form a predator and bring it means let's fight. This was an interesting article. I was curious about it before and now I know the answer to this question.

  • hannah6-war
    9/25/2015 - 01:14 p.m.

    That's pretty cool to know that we don't just get goose bumps from being cold. I never knew we can get them from being scared and from other strong emotions. It's also cool to know that part of the brain called the hypothalamus helps trigger goose bumps. I knew goose bumps were caused from the cold but I didn't know most of these cool facts, however now I do.

  • alyssak-day
    10/21/2015 - 01:53 p.m.

    TT:10
    In the back of my mind, i have found myself to be curious of why this happens on more than one occasion. Without research, i always just assumed it was a reaction to us being cold because the warmth was leaving our bodies. However, it is due to insulate us.

  • Steve0620-yyca
    12/02/2015 - 08:36 p.m.

    I think that goosebumps are pretty interesting. It is a bunch of raised bumps that are a reaction to strong emotions. The goosebumps are caused when a part of our brain signals the body to produce adrenaline which causes the goosebumps. A long time ago the goosebumps might used to be actual hairs that stood up on its end. The hairs could also provide warmth. The author says that when the hairs stood up on its end it made us look bigger to predators and it gave us a faction of a second to run or bring it. That means that it gave us time to either run away or to attack the predator.

  • maddiee-kut
    3/06/2016 - 04:52 p.m.

    I really understood this topic and it helped me learn more about because i was interested.

  • william1108-yyca
    3/22/2016 - 03:04 p.m.

    That's pretty cool to know that we don't just get goose bumps from being cold. I never knew we can get them from being scared and from other strong emotions. It's also cool to know that part of the brain called the hypothalamus helps trigger goose bumps. I knew goose bumps were caused from the cold but I didn't know most of these cool facts, however now I do. I also never knew that you can actually get goose bumps. Maybe one day I will be able to learn more about goose bumps.

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