Why Do We Get Goosebumps?

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Why Do We Get Goosebumps? - as part of the news and politics series by GeoBeats.

Remember listening to your favorite song and mentioning to your friend that you have got goosebumps. Have you ever wondered why you get them and what is the historical context? Getting goosebumps is that bizarre aspect of our body for which there seems to be no rationalization.

Well, even though we still experience them, they don't serve any useful purpose in humans today and are a carry-over trait from our ancient past.

Physiologically, when we are cold, under stress or excited, our body releases the hormone adrenaline. That causes the muscles at the base of hair to contract and the subsequent shallow depression. And that's what leads to bumps and standing up of our hair. We feel them the most on body parts with more hair like arms and legs.

Goosebumps do have a purpose for mammals. When animals are frightened or on high alert, their hair standing straight up can make them them look bigger and stronger, ready to take on a threat! In cold temps, the standing fur can develop insulation as a blanket keeping them warm.

When was the last time you had goosebumps?

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