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.
 
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.
 
The hair-raising reaction also had the benefit of making us look bigger to predators, giving 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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Assigned 31 times
CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
What does the author mean by “run or ‘bring it.’?”
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (21)
  • eiljahf-ver
    8/19/2015 - 01:36 p.m.

    It was interesting. I bet not that many people know how goosebumps work.

  • samanthao-ver
    8/21/2015 - 01:09 p.m.

    We get goosebumps when we get cold or maybe excited too.

    • student2-tho
      9/11/2015 - 03:37 p.m.

      I get hair bumps also because it gets cold to in my house that's why i got hair bumps

    • student4-tho
      9/11/2015 - 03:40 p.m.

      SO goosebumps is based off on emotions and when it gets cold like in the winter time.

      • student10-tho
        10/05/2015 - 02:57 p.m.

        thats right

    • student10-tho
      11/11/2015 - 09:39 p.m.

      ok

  • p1-callen-pen
    8/24/2015 - 09:17 a.m.

    You can either run away, or you can be brave and face him off. That is what the author meant.

  • p1-kayla-pen
    8/24/2015 - 09:19 a.m.

    It means to either run away from a predator or try to fight it.

  • Eugene0808-YYCA
    8/24/2015 - 09:16 p.m.

    I think this is cool to know because goosebumps were traits that our ancestors had. Since they were more hairier, the raised hairs trapped air to keep them insulated from the cold. Another cool thing I learned was that the raised hairs on their body made them look bigger so they intimidated predators.
    What does the author mean by “run or ‘bring it.’?”
    Answer: The author means that our ancestors had the opportunity to fight the predator, just run away, or scare it away.

  • gabrielleh-bro
    8/27/2015 - 01:26 p.m.

    We learned this in our science class last year.

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