Humans: The Strangest Species

The puzzling range of human emotions, actions, reactions and abilities lead to only one firm conclusion: We're a strange bunch.

Humans are arguably the most bizarre creatures in the animal kingdom. The proof is in the many gross, unnecessary, contradictory and simply inexplicable things we do. And of course we're different in our capacity to ponder all these oddities and sometimes figure a few out.

This romp through the LiveScience archives reveals why we...

Lie, cheat, fall in love, kiss, blush, have sex, die?

Have fingernails, have an appendix, an Adam's apple, curly pubic hairs?

Part our hair, crack our knuckles, get goose bumps, shiver when cold? Blink without noticing, see spots in our eyes, cry when slicing onions?

Can't tickle ourselves?


Burp, fart, itch, stink, struggle to find a mate?

Get freckles, get birthmarks, hear ringing in our ears?

Spread urban legends, enjoy hearing voices, see things that aren't there? Join cults, believe in ghosts, fall for placebos, believe in UFOs?

Don't understand consciousness?


Yawn, sleep, dream, snore, laugh, cry, procrastinate?

Get sleepy after lunch, get sleepy after sex, can't sleep at all?

Grind our teeth, stress so much? Stay monogamous? Work so hard, can't handle success, don't take vacations, die from stress?

Ignore the keys to happiness?


See, hear, gossip, talk, talk too much, can't hold our tongues?

Have big brains, got so smart, can't find our keys, get deja vu?

Love music, love eyes, can't resist beauty, nip and tuck so much? Fight with our spouses, wear too much perfume, ignore our wives?

Aren't all beautiful?


Smoke, gamble, get fat, love sugar, catch the flu?

Love to be scared, have a belly button, close our eyes when we sneeze?

Get brain freeze, hiccups, Charlie horses, zits? Feel pain, feel the pain of others, crave violence, have culture?

Act altruistically?


Walk upright? Grow old? Turn gray? Go bald?

Are optimistic, grow more so with age? Look like our lovers when we get old?

Hate losing, cling to bad habits, remember traumatic events? Suppress bad memories, love to provoke anger, act selfishly? Chase immortality?

Lose our minds?

Robert Roy Britt

Robert is an independent health and science journalist and writer based in Phoenix, Arizona. He is a former editor-in-chief of Live Science with over 20 years of experience as a reporter and editor. He has worked on websites such as and Tom's Guide, and is a contributor on Medium, covering how we age and how to optimize the mind and body through time. He has a journalism degree from Humboldt State University in California.