Do you ever wonder about goosebumps? Why do we get them? What is the purpose? Well, there are so many questions that come to mind. So, we are here to tell you all about goosebumps. Read on to know more.
What Are Goosebumps?
Goosebumps are basically the result of tiny muscles flexing in the skin that makes the hair follicles rise up a bit. Therefore, our hair stands up. Goosebumps are an involuntary reaction from the sympathetic nervous system that controls the fight or flight response.
Researchers have linked goosebumps to the regeneration of hair and hair follicles. Basically, the nerves which are connected to the tiny muscles that are the main reason behind goosebumps are also hair follicle stem cells. Hair follicle stem cells are the ones that are responsible for the growth of the hair.
Therefore, in response to cold, this nerve tells the tiny muscles in our body to contract which causes goosebumps and also, the same nerve activates hair follicle stem cells for new hair growth.
Purpose Of Goosebumps
The main purpose of goosebumps is to provide you with heat when you are exposed to cold. This can be done in the following ways.
- Contraction of the large muscles in the skin generates heat.
- When hair follicles are raised, then our skin pores close.
- When the hair is standing up, then they trap a layer of heat, thus keeping our body warm.
Goosebumps are more important in animals than humans as they have a big fur coat but still humans experience this. Basically, goosebumps are a response to cold and a way to conserve heat.
More Than Just Cold
Mostly goosebumps are linked with unpleasant situations such as cold or horror (Hindi horror films). Aforementioned, goosebumps are an involuntary reaction from the sympathetic nervous system which has inputs from many parts of the brain. Therefore, there can be some other reasons for goosebumps as well which are as follows:
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Interesting Facts About Goosebumps
- The term goosebumps is derived from the way a person’s skin looks while they are experiencing goosebumps which is like a plucked goose.
- Medical terms used for goosebumps are cutis anserina, piloerection and horripilation.
- Animals also need goosebumps to stay warm. When animals get goosebumps, their fur hair rises and creates insulation to retain heat. As humans don’t have such a thick coat, therefore, the result is goosebumps.
- Some people may also experience goosebumps while listening to music. A study from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro has found out that people who are to new experiences and different kinds of music are more likely to get goosebumps.
- If a person is going through a phase of withdrawal from drugs, then he or she may also experience goosebumps.