10 Human Mysteries Scientists Can’t Explain

Posted By Ben Goulding, 6 August, 2009 | permalink

Human Mysteries

Here’s a really interesting list of 10 features of human behavior that scientists are unable to explain. It was compiled by The Magazine.

1. Blushing

Even Darwin struggled to explain why we would evolve a response that lets others know that we have cheated or lied.

2. Laughter

The discovery that laughter is more often produced at banal comments than jokes prompts the question, why did it evolve?

3. Pubic hair

Scent radiator, warmth provider, or chafe protection? The answer to why humans have clumps of hair in private places is still open for debate.

4. Teenagers

Even our closest relatives, the great apes, move smoothly from their juvenile to adult life phases – so why do humans spend an agonising decade skulking around in hoodies?

5. Dreams

Today, most researchers reject Freud’s belief that dreams are expressions of our unconscious desires – but if that’s the case, what are they for?

6. Altruism

People still debate whether humans are genuinely altruistic by nature, but if we are, most agree it doesn’t make evolutionary sense.

7. Art

Sexual display, learning tool or form of social glue? Art still refuses to be pinned down.

8. Superstition

Many of us have superstitions – odd, reassuring habits that make no rational sense – but there may be an underlying reason for such behavior.

9. Kissing

The urge to kiss is not brought about by genes, so why do we find it so pleasurable to share saliva?

10. Nose-picking

Many of us do it, but eating bogeys offers little nutritional reward – could there be a health reason for the unappealing habit?

Have you ever wondered about any of these weird and wonderful things we do and why we do them? Do you have any potential theories to these mysteries? Let us know.


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  3. Ever Dream This Man?
  4. How Many Times Can You Fold A Piece Of Paper In Half? (WFOTD)
  5. The Human Body Subway Map

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Posted in: Health | Lifestyle | Sci/Tech

Christina Crowe August 6, 2009

Lol, good points! I’ve always wondered about number 1 and number 3 as well. I guess there’s no reasonable explanation!

Walter August 7, 2009

Funny and interesting. :-)

Ben Goulding August 7, 2009

Glad you enjoyed. I’ve never quite understood superstition. It’s totally irrational, yet reassuring. Hmm…

allan December 5, 2011

All of these are not only explainable by science but also very easily explained by common sense WTF

allan December 5, 2011

by the way i have a Phd in biology this is not unfounded

JJ December 7, 2011

I think most people will think they have “simple” explanations to these, but they have actually been rejected by science and are therefore still mysteries.

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