Have you ever ask yourself Why Do Hammerhead Sharks Look Like That?
Out of all the shark species in the world, hammerhead sharks are the most mysterious. These sea creatures got their name from the unusual shape of their heads, but their heads don’t really resemble a hammer. Scientists prefer to use the term “cephalofoil” when referring to the unique shape of the shark’s head. According to David Jacoby of the Zoological Society of London, hammerhead sharks are “the youngest extant species of sharks.” While the first shark species appeared 450 million years ago, hammerheads are only 20 million years old.
Scientists have proposed several theories about the unique shape of the hammerhead shark. One of those theories suggested that the “flattened head enhances the shark’s swimming performance.” Another possible explanation is that the unique shape improves the shark’s sense of sight and smell. But perhaps the most bizarre theory scientists have postulated is that hammerhead sharks use their unique heads as a form of weapon to help them handle their prey better. Other Biological mysteries that baffles scientist are:
What Caused A Mountain Lion to Become Monstrously Deformed?
In late 2015, a hunter from Preston, Idaho, spotted and killed a strange-looking mountain lion. The animal had small, white whiskers and fully formed fangs on the top of its head. The unnamed hunter spotted the mountain lion when it attacked a dog. The dog survived, but the rare cat was legally harvested by the hunter.
Scientists don’t know what caused the cat to become monstrously deformed, but they offered two solid explanations. The unusual growth on the animal’s head might be “the remains of a conjoined twin that died in the womb, but was absorbed by the surviving fetus.” It could also be a teratoma tumor. This kind of tumor is usually benign and can contain hair, teeth, toes, and fingers. Teratoma tumors don’t usually occur in animals and humans, but they do pop up from time to time, just like the baby from Maryland whose teratoma tumor contained fully formed teeth.
While the two theories offer plausible explanations about the mountain lion’s looks, the biologists who postulated them admit that “the exact cause of the [animal’s] abnormality is everyone’s guess.”
The hymen has been traditionally associated with virginity, but now, we know that this belief is not entirely true. The hymen can tear due to exercise, tampon use, and masturbation in addition to sexual intercourse. Human females aren’t the only ones who possess these crescent-shaped, thin membranes. Mammals, such as whales and elephants, have hymens too.
There are several theories that try to de-mystify the hymen, but evolutionary scientists are still perplexed as to its true physiological purpose. One theory suggests that “the hymen arose because it was a desirable trait, due to the common societal preference for virgin wives.” However, the problem to this reasoning is that it only applies to humans. Animals don’t really care whether the female is a virgin or not when it comes to mating and reproduction. Another theory suggests that the hymen is to protect women from vaginal infections.
A genetics professor and her team at Harvard Medical School are working hard to solve a biological mystery that could potentially prevent cancer and other illnesses. Professor Ting Wu wants to discover the reason why hundreds of small segments of the human genome have remained unchanged for more than 300 million years. This phenomenon does not only occur in humans—it also shows up in other animal species, such as rats, dogs, cows, and horses.
Known as ultraconserved elements (UCEs), these stable chunks of DNA are believed to have remained unchanged for millions of years because they carry out life-sustaining functions. Several studies show that UCEs don’t seem to have any purpose. They don’t even play a role in protein production, like most other DNA strands.
In one experiment, scientists removed the UCEs of mice. If UCEs do indeed carry out life-sustaining functions, then the mice should have died, but they were completely healthy after the experiment. Wu proposed a theory of her own called the surveillance hypothesis. She believes that UCEs act as “surveillants” scanning individual cells for errors. If there are many errors, then the affected cell is commanded to exterminate itself or “somehow be killed off.” Wu admits that her explanation is not conclusive, and UCEs remain a biological mystery.
Have you ever wondered why we have hair in our genital areas? Society says it is unappealing and that we should get rid of the hair, but it does have a purpose. Unfortunately, scientists don’t exactly know what this supposed purpose is. Many theories have been proposed to explain the hair’s function, but there’s really no clear answer.
One theory suggests that pubic hair releases pheromones—bodily scents that others might find sexually stimulating. Some people are capable of consciously smelling the presence of pheromones. For others, detection of the scent and sexual stimulation happens at a more subconscious level. If this theory is correct then we should stop shaving our pubic hair, being that it can decrease or even eliminate our sexual attractiveness.
Another theory suggests that genital hair protects the reproductive organs, especially the vagina, from dirt and particles. However, there’s one problem to this theory: It only applies to women. If it is applied to men then there should also be pubic hair protecting the urethra
A German research scientist named Jan Souman conducted an experiment that showed that humans are incapable of walking in a straight line. Souman blindfolded his subjects and instructed them “to try to walk straight for up to an hour.” Instead of walking straight, the volunteers walked in circles. The German scientist conducted the experiment in various locations, such as the beach and the Sahara Desert, but the results were the same.
Souman then tried another experiment, and this time there were no blindfolds. The results were different and a bit surprising. If it was cloudy out, the subjects walked in circles. When the weather was good and sunny, only one of the subjects was able to walk relatively straight.
So why does this phenomenon exist? Scientists don’t really have an explanation, and Jan Souman is still working on a multi-causal theory.