JUN 12, 2017 10:31 AM PDT

Say what?! Did you know about these weird things that happen to you as a kid?


Humans go through a lot of development in the early years of life, but it may surprise you just how weird some of those changes are. Did you know, for example, that you actually lose about half of your brain neurons in utero through a process called apoptosis? And that's even before you're born! Scientists think that apoptosis is important because it helps your brain make the right neuronal connections. As a child, you have a lot more neuronal connections than you actually don't need, which means that unless you are actively fine-tuning those synaptic connections, apoptosis will make many neurons die-off naturally. Ultimately this process is critical during childhood because it makes way for new, more important, synapses.

Another surprise development that might be news to you is the ability to shiver. You don't actually come out with the ability to shiver because it isn't until the age of around 3 months that you have developed the muscle tissue to do so. In order to keep warm, young babies have a special kind of fat called brown fat, that has more blood vessels and and mitochondria, which they burn when they get cold. This process is called nonshivering thermogenesis!

And just to keep you on your toes, did you know that your larynx actually drops from your head down into your throat? Your larynx helps you breathe without inhaling your food by closing the epiglottis so that food can reach your stomach. It's also important that the larynx is in its permanent anatomical location in your throat because it helps you articulate many different sounds which are necessary for language!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
DEC 22, 2019
Plants & Animals
DEC 22, 2019
Ever Wonder What Happens Inside a Clam's Shell?
Most people think of clams as a gooey blob inside of a two-piece shell, but there’s actually a lot more going on inside that shell that you might com...
JAN 05, 2020
Space & Astronomy
JAN 05, 2020
It's Finally the Year of the Mars 2020 Mission
It’s officially 2020, and with that in mind, anyone paying attention to NASA’s launch schedule should know already that the Mars 2020 rover is...
JAN 15, 2020
Health & Medicine
JAN 15, 2020
The "Normal" Body Temperature Has Decreased
Did you know that the standard human body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit was established in 1868? A few modern studies have called this figure into...
JAN 19, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 19, 2020
Flying Foxes Must be Careful of Crocodiles When Hydrating
Flying foxes absolutely despise the Sun, and with that in mind, it should come as no surprise to anyone that they look for shade whenever possible. One pro...
FEB 02, 2020
Plants & Animals
FEB 02, 2020
These Fish Beach Themselves When it Comes Time to Mate
Most fish probably cringe at the idea of beaching themselves on purpose, especially since they can’t breathe out of water. But this is something that...
FEB 03, 2020
Space & Astronomy
FEB 03, 2020
How NASA's MAVEN Spacecraft is Studying Mars' Ionosphere
If you ever listen to the radio and experience a phenomenon in which the broadcast sounds garbled or as if another radio station is attempting to play over...
Loading Comments...