What Is Odd About You – an Informal Experiment 

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I got to thinking. Scary, I know! What occurred to me is that being able to move your toes independently, curling your tongue, and wiggling your ears are actually primitive abilities.

First, if you can, watch this:

If you can’t or don’t want to watch the video: lie your arms flat, palm up, and touch your thumb to your pinkie finger. If you see this raised thingie in your wrist…


…then you have the unnecessary muscle, palmaris longis, that is only really useful for climbing trees freehand. I have the palmaris longis in both my arms. Hubby does not, in either arm.

Clearly the three Auricularis muscles (ear movers, if you didn’t watch) are more developed in those of use who can wiggle our ears or scalp. From the video, I understand that both of these are traits that quite a few of us have evolved beyond.

I’d like to know – do any of you who do have odd talents have the palmaris longis? Do any of you who profess to have no human tricks have it?

My next question is likely to get fewer answers, but might explain my ‘unevolved’ state.

I’d like to know if any of you who responded to the original post have had DNA testing done on yourself, or close family members. I bought my father the National Geographic’s Genographic Project DNA testing kit a few years back. I won’t go into heavy detail here, but one part of his results does relate to my as-yet-untested hypothesis.

My father has “… about 2% Neanderthal, which is in the range for most of European extraction. (1-4%) No Denisovan.”

If my father is 2% Neandertal, that means I am about the same (the test only works on male DNA). So perhaps I got a bit more from mom, or dad has his own set of throwback abilities. Hi Dad! (Waves) Maybe send me an email and let me know what you think!

So who is in? Let’s see if my hypothesis that we who have wiggly bits that most don’t, also might be less evolved? I certainly don’t take the idea as something derogatory. I rather like the idea that I’m a bit of a throwback. 

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47 responses »

  1. Hello. I have it in the right wrist, but can’t see it in the left. I am right handed and it is my stronger arm. I wanted to do the DNA test but they discontinued it. I would love to have had the information. I should do it privately but do I really want to know? Hugs

    • I included the link to the National Geographic project! You do have to pay, but your data will be added to their database too, so it helps science.
      So you are half a throwback! That does support my hypothesis so far.

      • Oh yes, I am half throwback and half … 🙂 I went to the site a while ago and they were not doing it, I will try again to see if they are doing it again. Thanks Hugs

          • I understand. My health problems put us in a very unstable dangerous financial situation. Ron has to take extra shifts when ever he can, he talked about getting a second job but I won’t let him. We not only lost my income but our expenses jumped greatly. Hugs

            • I know. I’m five years on after being unemployed for almost 2 years, and we still haven’t caught up. Big austerity thing in Ireland which is totall bullshit didn’t help.

  2. I have palmaris longis on both sides. I can wiggle my ears. I had a full set of wisdom teeth but not the jaw space to accommodate them. And finally, I retained fragmentary tissue from the 4 ‘gills’ that embryos feature at an early stage. Normally these are either reabsorbed or turn into other structures such as the outer ear. Mine didn’t reabsorb, and one had to be removed because it got infected. I got gills, baby! Throwback? Case proved, I think…

  3. I have had my DNA taken… But I have no results from it to show if I am as caveman as *SOME PEOPLE* think I am.

    I can do all of the tricks in the vid. I also have all my wisdom teeth still in my head. no need to remove them.

  4. Reblogged this on Scotties Toy Box and commented:
    This is a grand post. It has a lot of important information. I had wanted to do this DNA test back some time ago when it was the first version. I was disappointed to find they had stopped it. Now it is back and better than it was. I so glad as I want to do this. I will start saving the money to get mine and Ron’s done. Thanks for a grand post Spiders. Hugs

  5. I do not have the arm muscle thing. Nor can I do tricks. But! I’m pretty sure I’m part caveman anyway.

    I can look at pretty much any system, identify where the inefficiencies are, and figure out at least one way to solve them, which I hypothesize is a primal skill leading to tool making ETC

  6. I’ve got it, but given my profession, it’s hard to consider it vestigial. Anything that adds to my ability to create flexor contraction in my palm helps get me through the work day.

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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