And I Haven’t Even Covered Gills Yet!

While watching the Discovery Channel’s In The Womb series, I was completely and totally struck by the fact that human beings develop gills and a tail while in utero. Gills! Tails! TAILS!

There’s a bone at the base of our vertebral column from which a tail once extended. Like wisdom teeth and goosebumps, tails are bits and shreds of human anatomy that evolution has deemed unnecessary (though wisdom teeth and goosebumps had the good fortune of being able to remain, whereas tails are only present on human embryos for four short weeks).

I kind of miss having a tail. I’m well aware of how ridiculous that sounds, but just think. How society would be changed by just an extra appendage! Chairs, cars, jackets, dance moves, sports – all these things would be radically different. Ninjas and choreographers would have to re-think their stunts, geeky professors would push up their glasses with their tails, housewives would push shopping carts with their hands and grab items with their tails, Target would sell tail bows and tail coverings and medicine for when your tail gets fleas, hair salons would offer complementary tail trims, I’d fail at gymnastics even harder then I do already (can you imagine the amount of jumps and twirls you could do with a flexible appendage sticking out of your torso?), tails would flick along with the rhythm of tapping fingers and rolling eyes during boring classes, social hierarchies would be built up around the length and color of tails, basketballs players would slam dunk with theirs, Indiana Jones would wear a hat on his, knights during the Crusades would hang up infidels by theirs, birds would perch on the tails of lonely men sitting on park benches, I’d curl mine around me and use it to hold books.

The more I think about it, the more it seems like I’ve been thoroughly cheated by evolution.