Why Do Humans Have Random Patches Of Body Hair?

Okay, maybe not random.

One of most obvious differences between humans and our closest ape cousins, chimpanzees, is that chimps are have hair all over their bodies while humans are comparably bald. Actually, humans are covered with as many hair follicles as chimps, but the vast majority of our hair is very short and fine. 

There are some notable exceptions, of course. We have patches of long, thick hair on our heads, eyebrows, armpits, and pubic areas. Men also tend to have thicker hair on their faces, as well as their chests.

But why does this happen? 

The answer isn't as straightforward as you may think. It's commonly believed that the bulk of human body hair may have been lost to help out with temperature regulation as we conquered the plains of Africa, but it isn't as easy to point out why some patches of hair held on. 

Julia and Julian from DNews explain some of the leading theories behind why humans have hair in seemingly random spots. It's an extremely interesting conversation about something we usually take for granted.

WARNING: The following video may cause you to stare at your body for extended periods of time, pondering your evolutionary history.

Cover image: Shutterstock


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