+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Video breaks down why early humans had naturally straight teeth and we don't

Thanks, innovation!

crooked teeth
Ted-Ed/Youtube

Technology isn't everything.

Crooked teeth is a very, very common occurrence in our modern world. Nine out of ten people have at least some misalignment going on in their mouths. Over 4 million people wear braces in the United States alone. I don’t know about you, but I can still feel the utter sticker shock from my own teeth-straightening journey. (I call it a “journey” so it feels a little more whimsical and less devastating.)

And yet, this is not something our ancestors dealt with. Like…at all. How could it be that no one experienced this normal modern-day conundrum in a time when we had exponentially less technological advancement?

As it turns out, technology might be the culprit, and a video from Ted-Ed explains it all.

The prevailing theory in the scientific community is that millions of years ago, when humans were hunter-gatherers, their teeth had to work extra hard to grind down seeds, fruit, meat, etc., and make them digestible.

When humans began incorporating tools, food was broken down before it even entered the mouth. It only became more refined and easier to chew with the introduction of agriculture, followed by the innovations of the Industrial Revolution.

In a relatively short amount of time (12,000 years), teeth were basically relieved of most of their “pulverizing duties.” And while teeth were initially able to adapt to the gradual evolution of culinary changes, things simply changed too quickly to keep up. Over time, jaws have reduced in size much more quickly than our teeth have, leading to overcrowding and some…unique dental arrangements.

This also helps explain why wisdom teeth are such a pain. By the time these final molars come out, there is simply no room left in the mouth for them. This is why many people need them surgically removed in order to prevent discomfort or infection.

This theory has been tested on animals like spider monkeys and lyraxes, who were given naturally tough foods and artificially softened foods. Sure enough, the critters with the softer foods also developed narrower jaws, and more crooked teeth.

Bottom line: this issue has a lot more to do with lifestyle than anything genetic. Which is why different people in different parts of the world don’t deal with dental crowding at all, and even have room for wisdom teeth. Knowing this might not stop us from eating softer foods—it’s certainly not gonna make me give up warm gooey cookies any time soon, perfect smile and zero cavities be damned—but it’s certainly something to chew on.

You can watch the full video, based on a lesson by dental anthropologist G. Richard Scott, below:

"Freddie Mercury" by kentarotakizawa is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fans are thrilled to hear Freddie Mercury's iconic voice once again.

Freddie Mercury had a voice and a stage presence unlike any other in rock music history. His unique talents helped propel the band Queen to the top of music charts and created a loyal fan base around the world.

Sadly, the world lost that voice when Mercury died of AIDS at age 45. For decades, most of us have assumed we'd heard all the music we were going to hear from him.

However, according to Yahoo! Entertainment, remaining Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May announced this summer that they had found a never-released song they'd recorded with Mercury in 1988 as they were working on the album "The Miracle."

Keep ReadingShow less
Community

Hotel is giving away 10 all-expense-paid trips to help rebuild Patagonia hiking trail

Post your video entry by March 15 for a chance to do some good while exploring one of the world's most stunning ecosystems.

Las Torres Patagonia

Torres del Paine National Park

In the far southern reaches of South America, Patagonia beckons adventurers with its striking landscape. Rugged mountain peaks, deep valley vistas, pristine lakes, virgin forests, coastal cliffs and more combine to make this semi-arid land a paradise for nature lovers and photographers alike.

If you've ever seen a photo like this…

hiking trail next to a lake in patagoniaHiking trail at Torres del Paine National Park in PatagoniaLas Torres Patagonia

…and thought, "I have to go see that turquoise water for myself," now's your chance. Las Torres Patagonia is offering an all-expense-paid trip (including airfare) for 10 lucky winners to travel to Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and stay at the all-inclusive Las Torres Patagonia hotel for five days.

Keep ReadingShow less


We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

Keep ReadingShow less

Lamb Chop and Mallory Lewis are creating nostalgia in Mellennials

"Lamb Chop's Play Along" taught a whole generation so many meaning for things. The little sock puppet taught kids things like manners, kindness and a really annoying song that doesn't have an ending. It'll probably be difficult to find a Millennial that doesn't know "The Song that Doesn't End" by Shari Lewis who voiced Lamb Chop.

The kids show aired from 1992 to 1997 on PBS, with Shari passing away just a year later. But turns out everyone's favorite squeaky voiced lamb wasn't done bringing people joy. Shari's daughter Mallory Lewis has taken up her mom's throne as Lamb Chops handler and the internet couldn't be more thrilled to see the duo.

Mallory has the same fiery red curly hair that her mom did and has brought Lamb Chop, Charley Horse and Hush Puppy back out to play. To the delight of Millennials, the sassy lamb is still just six years old and gets Mallory into some tricky situations when trying to explain things to the puppet.

Keep ReadingShow less
via Sitwithit / Instagram

Validation and Hope vs. Toxic Positivity

A Helpful Chart to Explain the Difference Between Support and 'Toxic Positivity" was originally published on The Mighty.

There's no denying that positivity can be powerful. I know when I'm struggling with anxiety and negative thoughts, if I can hold onto an ounce of hope — that I'll make it through, that I'm not defined by my thoughts, that I'm not as bad as my brain is making me out to be — I can cope a little better.

The positivity we hold within ourselves, when we can manage it, makes it a little easier to get by.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

How 5 diabolical parents called their kids' bluff in hilarious ways

The next generation is in great, if diabolical, hands.

Photo by Phuong Tran on Unsplash



Recently, blogger Jen Hatmaker had a funny conversation with a friend about parenting:

"My girlfriend told me the greatest story. Apparently her 11-year-old also wanted to be a grown up this week and, in fact, not only did he treat his siblings like despised underlings, but when asked what he wanted, he said: 'I want the authority to be in charge of them and tell them what to do, because they deserve it!'


Well. My girlfriend and her husband are NOT AT ALL MESSING AROUND with parenting. Calmly, evenly, they granted his request to be a grown-up for a week by pulling him out of camp (the underlings still got to go, because they are 'such children') and sending him to work ALL DAY EVERY DAY with his dad. He has to get up early and shower and make breakfast for everyone. He has to kiss the underlings before he goes to work and tell them to have a great day and that he loves them. He has to work on a typing project during his office hours. He only gets to eat what his dad eats, because eating like a grown-up is not nearly as fun as eating like a kid.


Want to be an adult? Fine."

Photo via iStock.

Hatmaker's post went viral, with thousands of parents chiming in with their own stories of tough love, both giving and receiving.

The responses were hilarious, poignant, and a sign that the next generation is being parented by extremely capable, if not a little bit diabolical, hands.

Here are five of my favorite stories from the comments about parenting-gone-absolutely-right:

Keep ReadingShow less