Some body parts get all the attention, whether it’s the famous essentials like the heart, brain, and liver or the beauty of smiles or athletic musculature. However, there is a whole world of phenomenal body parts that deserve some more attention. cool stuff, cool stuff, cool stuff
These unsung anatomical heroes might not be the most eye-catching, but they’re why you don’t walk into walls, choke every time you eat, or simply keel over dead while you’re reading this article, among other things. Here is a list of ten of the most underappreciated, interesting, and important parts of the human body.
10. Vestibular System
The answer is the vestibular system (VS), a minuscule, complex setup comprised of three semicircular canals and two chambers in each inner ear. The VS sits behind your eardrum, just next to the cochlea. The semicircular canals are three round tubes filled with liquid, which lie in different planes, enabling sensation of movement in all directions. There are special areas called maculae (not to be confused with the maculae in the retinas) at the end of the tube loops which are covered with sensory hairs. On top of the hairs is a jelly-like substance with tiny weights in it called otoliths. When you move your head, the semicircular canals and maculae move, but the fluid and jelly lag behind. This lag bends the sensory hairs and sends a message to your brain about the direction your head is moving. When you stop moving (or accelerating) and keep your head in a particular spot, the effect of gravity on the weighted jelly tells your brain where you are in space.
So, what happens when we spin in a circle and get dizzy? Ask a friend to spin in a tight circle, either on their feet or in an office chair, for over 30 seconds and then suddenly stop and try to focus on a fixed point. They will feel dizzy and struggle to walk in a straight line, and if you look closely, you will see their eyes flicking from side to side (a phenomenon called nystagmus). This happens because your VS has stopped moving, but the fluid inside the loops has enough momentum to keep moving. This tells your brain you are spinning, but your eyes and cerebellum don’t agree, so you feel completely off-balance, and your vision is distorted. You can also watch the medical student above try it.
If you have ever fallen on your knees or had that sickening feeling of sliding a chair under a desk and colliding with an unfortunately placed table leg, you’ve probably been grateful for their protection. However, kneecaps are much more than built-in, rudimentary kneepads!
It’s all a matter of leverage. The main function of the kneecap, technically called the patella, is extension of the knee (straightening the leg). The kneecap is tethered to the shinbone (tibia) by a strong tendon, and the top of the kneecap is connected to a major muscle in the quadriceps group. Your “quads” are a group of four muscles, hence the name. The patella increases the effective force with which the knee can extend by 33 to 50 percent due to the increased leverage around the joint.