The human anatomy is basically made up of cells, tissues, organs, and systems; that make up your body. There are several parts of your body that are so common that even the average 3-year-old knows — the head that houses the brain, the chest that houses the heart, lungs and other respiratory organs, and the all important belly that houses those burritos in your stomach and digestive track. You know quite a lot about yourself, but admit, well, you don’t know that much as you thought. Here’s the catch: There are a few parts of your body you probably never knew you had, and have no idea about, at least for now. Let’s learn ‘em, shall we?
Related media: Crash Course Anatomy & Physiology #1
#1. Arrector Pilli: Your Goosebump Muscles
Do you really need a tiny muscle attached to every single hair strand on your body to help it stand up straight in the cold or relax when its hot? You really do. Your arrector pills are a set of tiny muscles that involves an involuntary reflex of contracting in times of heat or cold. This is an evolutionary trait that might have been left on your body by your furry ancestors. These were really useful because the ability to puff their fur out in chilly temperatures — to help them stay warm; and when facing an adversary — to make them look bigger.
#2. Interstitium: Your Fluid Superhighway
You’re forgiven if you had no idea about this one; it wasn’t even until 2018 that scientists even realize that not only were there fluid-filled cavities surrounding everything in your your — around your lungs, blood vessels, muscles, bladder, you name it — but these cavities were all part of one huge organ. They named it the interstitium, after your interstitial fluid that fills it. That fluid drains into the lymphatic system, and like the thymus, plays a role in immunity. It may be new to us, but it’s been keeping you healthy all your life.
#3. Lacrimal Puncta: Your Teardrop Holes
Have you ever wondered where your tears are made? The lacrimal puncta, singular: punctum, are just four tiny holes on inside layer of your eyelids — one at the inner corner of each upper and lower eyelid — that helps drain the tears that keep your eyes moist. You’re having doubts? See for yourself: just gently push up on the lower corner of your eye to see the inner edge of the eyelid, and it’ll be there. These tiny holes are where your tears are made. That’s why you shed tears so easily.
#4. Mesentery: Your Guts’ Seatbelt
You have your skin covering your body, your bones and muscles holding your organs in — but have you ever wondered what holds them up? Meet your mesentery, an organ once thought to be a disparate collection of membrane but it’s now known to be a continuous structure that lines your abdomen. It’s attached to your intestines, and its what’s holding and keeping guts from sloshing around whenever you take a Rollercoaster.
#5. Thymus: Your Immunity Factory
You thought your immune cells were made by your bone marrow. Sure, right; but if you had known the job of your thymus, then you’d be much grateful. It is a small organ located underneath your breastbone which plays a pivotal role in keeping you healthy. It’s part of both your lymphatic system — which is responsible for transporting your immune cells throughout your body; and your endocrine system — which is responsible for your chemical messengers, known as (you guessed it) hormones. The thymus is the source of your T-cells — which means Thymus cells — a type of white blood cells that regulates your immunity and hunts down any pathogens.
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Mon, Mar 25, 2019.