What Are Goose Bumps, Anyway?


What are goose bumps? If you’ve even been cold, or been scared, or been excited, or seen something super disturbing like a human foot on which the second toe is so much longer than the big toe that it actually hangs over the edge of the person’s sandal and touches the ground, you’ve probably gotten goose bumps. They occur when your body pumps adrenaline into your veins and tiny muscles around hair follicles contract, pulling the hairs erect (heh heh). The contraction also makes the skin around the hair stick out like a — you guessed it! — bump.

Why do our idiot bodies do such a thing? Humans have evolved to the point where our bodies are no longer covered with thick hair (well, except for your mom), but if we still had that hair, the goose-bump process would puff it up and make us look bigger and feel warmer — good for battling the cold or for intimidating something that we thought was putting us in danger.

Why are goose bumps called that? When a goose has its feathers plucked, its disgusting — but, once cooked, delicious — bare skin looks yours when you get goose bumps.