Why do you get goosebumps?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 25, 2017
Quick Bites

  • Goos bumps are also called goose pimples or goose flesh.
  • Goos bumps are little bumps on your skin at the bottom of your hair.
  • The scientific name of goose bumps is Kutis Ansterina.

Last night I watched this very scary movie and that movie was so spine chilling that I started getting goosebumps. Thanks to my curious brain, I started wondering how on earth you get these small bumps on your skin. I started collecting whatever information I could get on this “bizarre phenomenon”


And this is what I got to know.


Goose bumps


What are goosebumps?

Goosebumps are also called goose pimples or goose flesh. These are little bumps on your skin at the bottom of your hair that burst forth by reflex that you get when you go through some strong emotions like surprise, pleasure or fear. The scientific name of goosebumps is Kutis Ansterina.


[Read: Why Do We Get Goosebumps When We're Cold or Scared]


If you are getting goosebumps, know that it is out of reflex. Reflex is an involuntary action that your body performs u unwillingly. This particular reflex where you get goosebumps is called pilomotor reflex. Not just humans but some mammals also get goosebumps. For .e.g. porcupines spring out their quills when threatened and you may have also seen a cat or a dog freeze when they sense danger.


When you feel cold or go through some strong emotion like fear, your brain sends out signals t your muscles and your muscles tense up. And if you have body hair, the tensed muscles pull the skin below the hair, creating goosebumps.


Now, why do we call them goosebumps and not “quick pimples” (they are quick to come and quick to go)?


Well, they are called goosebumps because this is what a goose looks like when its feathers are all plucked out. Genius!


So, now you know what goose bumps are.


Image: Shutterstock

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