Wonderments of how the body works
Why does the spine have curves?
Like a spring, the curves (front to back) provide the spine the ability to hold up weight and are important in every person's ability to stand erect with good posture. Curvature of the spine (side to side) is, on the other hand, undesirable and when this is extreme, it is called scoliosis.
Why are there so many small bones in the spine?
The numerous small bones in the spine allow for its great flexibility.
When a person is walking or standing why is the arm slightly bent at the elbow?
Muscles referred to as antigravity muscles cause the bend at the elbow in order to protect the shoulder from stressful injury of the hanging arm. Without the antigravity muscles the arm would hang down straight putting constant pressure on the shoulder joint.
What are the ribs for and why are they constructed like they are?
Obviously the ribs protect some of the most vital organs in our body: heart, lungs, spleen, liver and kidneys. If the ribs did not exist then any time someone bumped into you or you bumped into a table, these vital organs could be damaged. Also when you lie down to sleep you probably would not be able to breath. The ribs are constructed like they are to allow for flexibility. If they were solid bone then the lungs would not be able to expand. You would not be able to breath. They also work with the great flexibility of the spine, which allows you almost unlimited ranges of motion.
Why do the fingers bend down at an angle when I close my hand slowly?
This is a very great wonderment. The hand works like this in order to give you the most power between each finger and your thumb. The powerful, opposable thumb. It is human.
Why does each eye look slightly off center?
This construction gives us the ability to have stereoscopic vision. In other words you can see in 3D and are able to judge distance more easily.
Why is the big toe larger than the others?
The big toe is the size it is because it is the final push-off point while you walk. It needs to be big because of the tremendous force that must be generated in order to propel you forward as you walk. The big toe is only part of the wonderment of the foot. The whole foot is involved in walking, obviously, but the big toe is the final pushoff.
I notice that when I look at a picture of the skull, it has a lot of little squiggly lines all over it. What are they for?
This is a good question. What you are seeing are joints between numerous bones that make up the skull. This construction allows for protection of the brain as well as its breathing. Yes! The brain breathes. It expands and contracts. So if the cranium (skull) were a solid bone the brain could not do what it does. The important idea here is flexibility. The construction is also so unique that it will not allow anything to enter the brain area through those joints.