We’ve come a long way in understanding human biology since Hippocrates suggested that blood, yellow bile, black bile, and phlegm are the primary causes of sickness and emotions. Researchers have discovered countless vaccines, cures, and treatments, which has increased lifespans worldwide.
However, there are still quite a few things we don’t understand. We can study, observe, and note that something is true, but we just can’t get at the cause. Here are five strange facts about humans that we still don’t understand.
1. People with more moles live longer on average than those with fewer moles.
How could this be possible? Maybe they’re concerned that their moles will be cancerous, so they put extra effort into being healthy.
Whatever the reason, scientists found that people with more moles have longer telomeres, which are markers of biological aging. So while moley people have a slightly higher risk of melanoma, they have a lower risk of heart disease because of this genetic abnormality.
2. Psychopaths take their coffee strong and black.
In a study of over 500 people, researchers found that people who enjoyed bitter rather than sweet flavors were more likely to show signs of “Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, and everyday sadism.”
The correlation showed that those that liked beer, radishes, and strong coffee were more likely to have antisocial traits. Excuse us. We’re going to go eat some candy.
3. Piano lessons make you smarter.
After nine months of either piano or voice lessons, students showed significant improvement in intelligence. The Canadian study showed that students’ IQ scores rose by 4.3 points on average after the musical training.
This wasn’t the first study to show that music can make us smarter. An earlier study claimed that simply listening to Mozart triggered a momentary increase in spatial intelligence.
4. Some names are sexier than others.
A study determined that people have rigid stereotypes about certain men’s and women’s names. For instance, Ann and George are widely perceived as the least attractive names.
Elizabeth and James are perceived as successful names, while Helen and John were perceived as the least lucky. What does it all mean? We have no idea!
5. Schizophrenics are more likely to have had a cat as children.
There’s a strange but undeniable link between schizophrenia and cat ownership. A study from the journal Schizophrenia Research claims, “Cat ownership in childhood has now been reported in three studies to be significantly more common in families in which the child is later diagnosed with schizophrenia or another serious mental illness.”
Researchers believe that a parasite found in cats can be passed on to humans, possibly triggering the mental illness. On the other hand, there are a number of health benefits associated with cat ownership. Cat owners are less likely to die of a heart attack or stroke.
Perhaps in the future, we’ll understand the reasons for these oddities. For now, we’ll just have to accept the uncertainty and the strangeness of humans.