We can thank the sun!

Each of us has a different relationship with that burning ball of gas, and it all comes down to how much melanin our body produces. It’s essentially our built-in sunblock, and some of us are born with a bunch of it and experience greater protection from the UV rays, and others, well, don’t fare so well midday in a tank top. But why is this?

Image: hand holding yellow and blue pigment powder

Source: Pixabay

While elephants roll in the mud and hippos evolved to sweat a sticky reddish substance that acts as a natural sunscreen, 1 humans have evolved a distinctly different (and much less messy) way of surviving in the sun; melanin.

We all have thousands upon thousands of years of evolution and ancestors to thank for the color of our skin. This amazing video from TED-Ed, written by Angela Koine Flynn, brings us through how melanin protected our ancient ancestors from the beating sun between the equator and the tropic of Capricorn, and the process that made it possible for us to live elsewhere on the planet.

Via: TED-Ed 2

Evolution will never not completely blow my mind!

Adapting to change is in our nature. And each of our bodies is a testament to the thousands of years of evolutionary history that have come together to make us who we are!

11 minutes

200,000 Years: Let’s Reflect on How Far We’ve Come!

What happened before history? After 200,000 years, let's take a moment to reflect on how far we've come, and maybe where we are headed!

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Our variations in skin color stem from an ancient desire to see, “What’s over there?” A question humans are still asking thousands of years later. 3

How do you think the world would be different if our skin wasn’t able to adapt to those location changes? What would you be doing right now? Would you even be here? 

For a better look at how you may have gotten wherever you are, check out this awesome map of human migration on National Geographic from their Genographic Project!

Stay open to possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein 

For more of our human history… 

Check out this category!

History on EWc

Oh, and make sure you subscribe! We’ll send you our next article as soon as it’s published!

Notes:

  1. Kettlewell, Julianna. “Science/Nature | Hippo’s ‘Magic’ Sweat Explained.” BBC News, BBC, 26 May 2004, news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3749351.stm. Accessed 17 Sept. 2018.
  2. “The Science of Skin Color – Angela Koine Flynn.” YouTube, TED-Ed, 16 Feb. 2016, www.youtube.com/watch?v=_r4c2NT4naQ. Accessed 5 June 2018.
  3. “Map of Human Migration.” Genographic Project, genographic.nationalgeographic.com/human-journey/. Accessed 5 June 2018.

Samantha Burns

Executive Assistant, Staff Writer

Samantha is a listener, creator, collector of knick knacks and lover of most, if not all, types of cheese.