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
SEP 12, 2018
Health & Medicine
SEP 12, 2018
Before You Tear the Moldy Portion of Your Bread Off and Call it Good... Watch This
While most people cringe at the thought of a moldy piece of bread lurking in their refrigerator, there exist bolder people who will gladly tear the moldy b...
SEP 15, 2018
Videos
SEP 15, 2018
Nature's Giant Genomes
We have around three billion base pairs in our genome. There are some organisms with far more....
SEP 26, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
SEP 26, 2018
There's Nothing Weak About the Weak Force
The weak nuclear force, or weak force for short, is so named because it is the direct contrast to the strong nuclear force, the attractive force that binds...
OCT 07, 2018
Health & Medicine
OCT 07, 2018
The Myth Behind Being Double-Jointed
Every so often, you might come across the occasional show-off that flexes their bodies in unusual ways and claims to be “double-jointed.” But i...
OCT 15, 2018
Space & Astronomy
OCT 15, 2018
Picking a Landing Site On Mars is No Easy Task
When space agencies like NASA send landers and rovers to other places in the solar system to explore, one of the most challenging questions they’re c...
OCT 22, 2018
Videos
OCT 22, 2018
Are GMOs Safe?
While consumers may have valid ethical concerns about GMOs, 30 years of research says they are safe to eat....
Loading Comments...