Why do we get goosebumps?
August 19, 2015
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You asked us, "Why do we get goosebumps?"
Goosebumps are actually a useless holdover from our hairier days.
We get them in reaction to the cold, to fear or any other strong emotion.
This is what happens. 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 causes muscles at the base of our hairs to contract and stand on end.
We are 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, which insulated us from the cold.
The hair-raising reaction also had the benefit of making us look bigger to predators. That gave us a fraction of time to either run or 'bring it.'
Well, I will 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