JUN 12, 2017 10:31 AM PDT

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

3 2 260

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
JUL 24, 2018
Technology
JUL 24, 2018
Can This Airplane Prevent Jet Lag?
People who travel long distances via airplane often experience a complication known as jet lag. Symptoms of jet lag disorder include fatigue, irritability,
JUL 25, 2018
Videos
JUL 25, 2018
Is Your Brain Completely Unconscious During Anesthesia?
For surgical procedures, anesthesia is a necessary part of patient care. Anesthesia is thought to render a patient unconscious, but according to new r
JUL 26, 2018
Videos
JUL 26, 2018
Most Military Deaths Are Not From Combat
Since 2006, 16,000 military service members have died while on active duty. While some were killed in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, 72% of those deaths o
AUG 08, 2018
Videos
AUG 08, 2018
Pesticide Use in Cannabis Farming
What's the first thing you do when you get home with freshly bought fruits and vegetables? You wash them off to make sure they are clean and free of re
AUG 13, 2018
Videos
AUG 13, 2018
One Cell was Consumed by Another in a Evolutionary Leap
A process called endosymbiosis may have given evolution a lot of help.
AUG 16, 2018
Videos
AUG 16, 2018
Why won't my ears stop ringing?
An estimated 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus in some form. Two million of those people suffer from ringing in their ears so severely that they ca
Loading Comments...