If Charles Darwin was right, evolution means our toes and wisdom teeth will disappear!

Who would've thought it? Some parts of the body are actually redundant and will disappear over time. This was the view of Charles Darwin, the father of the theory of evolution, who wrote these words in the first chapter of his book titled "The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex." Over the next millennia, the following 9 body parts will probably vanish. Some may no longer exist 500 years from now... 

1. Toes

Researchers discovered that humans predominantly used to balance on the midline of their foot. Our toes were therefore used to hold our balance. However, our center of balance has slowly moved toward the side of our big toe over time. In this respect, our toes have lost their original function and have become almost superfluous.

2. Darwin's tubercle

wikipedia/Zweihundertzwölf/CC BY-SA 3.0

Many people have a small folded point of skin toward the top of each ear. It's what's left of a larger point we used to have. Back then, the point was probably used to help pick up distant sounds. 

3. Wisdom teeth

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Our ancestors had a diet high in plant content which needed to be chewed thoroughly. And that's where wisdom teeth came in. However, they're no longer needed today and are often surgically removed. In the future, they'll most probably disappear from our jaws altogether.

4. Paranasal sinuses

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They're often a cause for complaint when we're feeling stuffed up. It's probably quite irritating to find out that these mucus-lined cavities are superfluous in the human body. However, it's also supposed that they keep the weight of your head down as they prevent bones from growing in this area.

5. Palmaris longus muscle

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Around 11% of the population no longer has this muscle which runs from the elbow to the wrist. Since it was once used for climbing and hanging, it's only really important for martial artists or rock climbers these days. 

6. Cervical ribs 

Huntsville Hospital Imaging/wikipedia

Less than 1% of the population has a full set of these cervical ribs, also known as neck ribs; people may also have them on one side. They often suffer from problems with their arteries.

7. Arrector pili muscles

Pixabay

These small muscles allow animals to puff up their fur when they want to intimidate others. Humans also have these muscles. It's what happens when you get goosebumps. However, this function is now redundant. 

8. Tailbone

Henry Vandyke Carter/wikipedia

The tailbone (Coccyx) is where mammals' tails start. Animals use their tails to communicate with others and and keep their balance. Today, the tailbone is merely a remnant of our ancestral past. 

9. Body hair

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Eyebrows are intended for keeping sweat from your forehead running into your eyes.

Pixabay

 

Otherwise, most body hair has no further function, except for playing a role in attracting members of the opposite sex. 

No one can say for sure what humans will look like in generations to come. Either way, humans will continue to evolve over time though as a way to adapt to changing environments. Fascinating stuff!

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