What Are Goose Bumps About?

The human body is a wondrous yet perplexing machine that can spur lots of interesting questions. Here’s a good one.

What are goose bumps about?

Goose bumps occur when the tiny muscles at the base of each hair follicle tighten and pull the hair upright. “It’s actually a reflex triggered by the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for many fight-or-flight responses,” says Dr. Priya S. Gupta of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

That’s why goose bumps commonly occur when you’re nervous or scared, as well as when you’re cold.


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