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The Science Behind: Goosebumps

Do you ever wonder about the weird sensation on your skin when you watch a horror movie? Why does your body get goosebumps when you are happy, sad, stressed, and cold? Does it serve a purpose in your body? If that's what you had in mind and were worried about yourself, today I'm going to clear all your doubts.

So, what are goosebumps? When you experience low temperatures or strong emotions such as anxiety and fear, tiny bumps appear on your skin, they are called goosebumps. Every hair on your body is encircled by a tiny muscle known as arrector pili muscle. When these small muscles contract, a small bump appears on your skin.


The small bumps are the brain's way of alerting the body that the body temperature is decreasing and, you should take some steps to warm up and get your body back to the average body temperature.

The signs that you get goosebumps when you're cold are:

  • Pale skin

  • Shivering

  • A strong desire to hug yourself

Strong Feelings

When you experience intense emotions, the adrenal glands release a hormone known as adrenaline. This hormone plays an essential role in the fight-or-flight response by increasing blood flow, pupil dilation, and blood sugar. This hormone makes the hair on your body stand on end. Animals also experience this. When the animals sense any danger from the other species, their raised fur creates an optical illusion that makes them look bigger to scare off any predators.

The signs that you get goosebumps when you experience intense emotions are:

  • Chills

  • Increased heart rate

  • Tears

  • Quicker breathing


Your body can rarely get goosebumps during a seizure. Seizures are the uncontrolled electric activity that occurs in the brain. If you get goosebumps during a seizure, you may also:

  • Feel confused

  • Stare into space

  • Chew or smack your lips

  • Make motions with your hand

Does it serve a purpose in our bodies?

Goosebumps in humans is an involuntary response to adrenaline caused by changes in emotion or temperature. Unlike animals, humans don't have enough hair for goosebumps to have an insulation effect or to scare off any predators.

If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know in the comments below.




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