Friday, April 24, 2015

What's up with the uvula?

You know it as that dangly thing in the back of your throat. The palatine uvula is an anatomical mystery. Scientists have theorized that it plays a role in guiding food and water down the esophagus, that it is implicated in sleep apnea, and that it is the instigator of the gag reflex.

The uvula is anatomically exclusive to humans, and consequently plays a role in speech. Some European languages involve a uvular trill as a consonant sound. Additionally, the uvula excretes some saliva which helps prevent a dry throat while talking.

So go ahead and try saying "your unique uvula" 10-times fast -- your unique uvula may just be the reason why you can do it!

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