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9 Common Things Your Body Does That You May Not Have Realized Are Defense Mechanisms

The human body is an extremely complex machine that can be difficult to understand. Even now, after hundreds of years of medical science, we still don't know everything about how/why it works the way it does.

The body has numerous defense mechanisms that constitute one of our more important bodily systems, helping to keep us safe from a number of things that could harm us. Here are nine examples of defense mechanisms that you may not have known about.

1. Yawning

Yawning helps provide the brain with more oxygen and cool it down after it's been working hard.

2. Sneezing

Sneezes are caused by the nasal passages becoming irritated by allergens, microbes, dust and other irritants. Sneezing expels all this "trash" from your body.

3. Stretching

We stretch out to prepare our bodies for physical exertion. Stretching can even help boost your mood.

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4. Hiccups

When we eat/drink something and it goes down the wrong way, the pneumogastric nerve can become irritated and cause hiccups.

5. Myoclonic jerks

Myoclonic shocks are when you experience a sudden jolt in your body, often when you're about to drift off. Depending on how tired you are, the brain can misinterpret your slowed breathing and relaxed muscles as a sign of death instead of just you getting ready to nap, so it jolts you to keep you alive.

6. Pruning of skin

Increased/prolonged contact with moisture leads to pruning. Wet surfaces are slick, so your body increases traction by creating pronounced wrinkles on your hands and feet.

7. Memory loss

Sometimes, unpleasant experiences can be blocked out of the memory to keep your psyche intact.

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8. Goosebumps

Goosebumps help reduce heat loss through by closing up the pores on your skin.

9. Tears

Tears help clear any irritants in your eye, but they also serve as an emotional defense by distracting you from your suffering.

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H/T: Bright Side

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