Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
30 Treats For the Ultimate Healthy Halloween
Food Video
The Scary Truth Behind Your To-Go Oatmeal
Healthy Living
7 Foods to Eat When You're Sick

Ooh, I Just Got Goose bumps

It's been awfully chilly out there lately and I bet you've gotten your fair share of goose bumps. Want to know what causes them? Well, they're triggered by a reflex called piloerection (kind of funny name - don't ya think?). This reflex causes the little hairs that cover your body to stand up, because tiny muscles at the base of each hair contract. Which in turn makes those little bumps all over your skin giving it the appearance of a freshly plucked goose.

Like with a hissing kitty, piloerection is a response to cold or fear. But for people today, goosebumps are vestigial. That is a fancy way to say they serve absolutely no purpose. They do in fact NOT help you get warm.

Do you get goose bumps when you hear a moving story or nails scratching a chalkboard? Interested to know why? Then,

Goose bumps are an automatic response (like shivering or sweating) to strong emotions. Like other emotion-linked reflexes such as blushing, turning pale, and butterflies in your tummy, goose bumps are triggered by the limbic system of the brain.

So our skin gets bumpy when we hear beautiful music or watch scary movies, and that bodily response isn't driven by a physical prompt, but by a psychological one. Yet another example of the mind/body connection. Wow. I just gave myself goose bumps.

Around The Web
Join The Conversation
stone_soup stone_soup 9 years
It's actually more of use to animals to show aggressiveness to other animals that may be posing a threat to them. That's what I learn in biology anyway. ____________________________________ Don't tick me off. Or you'll get it.
Beaner Beaner 9 years
Totally. I hate being cold.
DStirk DStirk 9 years
Gooosebumps! i hate them, seriously I always have them... I call them goosepimples... anyone else with me?
How Many Goosebumps Books Have You Read Quiz
Goosebumps Movie Pictures
Goosebumps Movie at Comic-Con
'90s Shows Becoming Movies | Video

POPSUGAR, the #1 independent media and technology company for women. Where more than 75 million women go for original, inspirational content that feeds their passions and interests.

From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds