"I was so scared I got people-bumps!"

Goose bumps pic.jpg
This post is from one of the most random thoughts I've had all semester and it came today when I stepped out of my apartment into the crisp morning air.  What are goose-bumps?

I assumed they play some role in the adaption of the human body to various climate and temperature changes since this is when we are most likely to see goose-bumps.  Upon further investigation, I found that, in humans, they are completely pointless.

However, I found their original purpose and the purpose they play in various other species.  Apparently, when exposed to colder conditions, small muscles at the base of the hair contract, pulling the hair erect, thus, when there are many hairs (e.g. a dog's coat) there is a layer of trapped air among the hairs creating a layer of extra insulation.

Clearly, due to our nearly hairless nature, this is merely a left-over reaction from the course of evolution that serves no purpose for humans anymore.  However, I did find it interesting that this response is not only triggered by cold and emotional response, but by music as well.  This is linked to the emotional trigger but it is slightly different as our brains will perceive a pleasurable string of music as it would excellent food and releases dopamine into our system, creating something akin to euphoria.

It was a random thought which lead to quite interesting information.


I like the randomness of this topic. However, people did not evolve from animals.

Very cool, I was actually thinking about this the other day after I sneezed and had goosebumps all over my arms. I would be interested to hear Kelly's information to support her claim that people did not evolve from animals, because as I was reading your blog I was thinking that this was great evidence that evolution did indeed occur.

This was very interesting! I always get goose bumps, but sometimes I get it, as you said, when I see or hear something emotional (the THON videos on YouTube). I have never personally seen an animal get goose bumps, but it makes sense that it would create an extra layer of insulation. I suppose we can say that goose bumps are the opposite of sweating; while sweating cools you down, goose bumps warm you up.

very interesting blog, I've always wondered why we call it "goose bumps". I agree with Jordan too about the emotional aspect, I love music and often times when I hear a talented singer, goose bumps come instantaneously.

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