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Fact of the day: Did you know goosebumps actually have a purpose?

August 27, 2015

I was reading some articles the other day when I came across one about goosebumps. I don’t know why it caught my attention, but I guess I’ve just never known the purpose of them and thought now would be a good time to learn about them!

I get goosebumps pretty much daily because I always feel cold. Jeremy don’t get goosebumps for some reason, which I’ve always found a bit strange. (Well, I’ve never seen him get any anyway, not even when he’s cold!)

Photo from telegraph.co.uk

Photo from telegraph.co.uk

Apparently goosebumps are triggered by a reflex called piloerection. It causes tiny muscles at the base of each hair to contract, making the little hairs that cover your body to stand up. When animals get cold, this reaction helps fluff up their fur or feathers to lock in warmth, and I suppose it’s meant to do the same for us – except we no longer have fur, just tiny hairs that aren’t going to help us much!

Perhaps back in the day when our ancestors had a lot more hair, it was actually useful! Interesting, huh?

“But why do we get goosebumps when we’re scared?” I hear you ask. Well, this is because when animals get scared, they fluff up their fur to look as big and scary as possible to threaten their attackers. Again, not something we’re able to take advantage of today!

“OK, but what about when we listen to music or just generally feel something nice?” Well, the theory is that when we feel those emotions, our brains release the same chemicals that are released when it’s telling our body we’re cold.

Hopefully you found this just as interesting as I did! Perhaps you already knew about it and I’m just not as up to date with these kind of things as others!

What gives you goosebumps? 🙂

Sophie

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8 Comments

  • Wander-Full

    This makes so much sense! haha I’ll probably have a little giggle the next time I get goosebumps

    August 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm Reply
  • Sheridan Johnson

    Definitely little interesting fact to know! 🙂 Thanks for the FYI

    August 27, 2015 at 4:59 pm Reply
  • My Week Picks – Week 34! | BeingZingy!

    […] FACT OF THE DAY: DID YOU KNOW GOOSEBUMPS ACTUALLY HAVE A PURPOSE? […]

    August 30, 2015 at 9:35 pm Reply
  • Becky B

    Fascinating . . worked out the cold one but never thought about the fear factor before. And thanks to Ananya of https://beingzingy.wordpress.com/ for bring me here today.

    August 30, 2015 at 9:53 pm Reply
    • The Swedish Kiwi

      Glad you liked the post and that Ananya brought you here! 🙂

      August 31, 2015 at 6:36 am Reply
  • Vibrant

    It’s a very interesting story. I get them very often when reading beautiful stories or watching moving films.

    Have a great Sunday Sophie.

    Anand

    August 30, 2015 at 11:21 pm Reply
    • The Swedish Kiwi

      Same, I get them all the time! You have a great day too! 🙂

      August 31, 2015 at 6:37 am Reply

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