Strange Things You Didn't Know About Your Tongue

Our bodies are both complex and wonderful. And while we may know the basic functions of our anatomy, there are often some mysterious extras that are both useful and fun to know about. Take for instance, our tongues. WebMD tells us our tongues are vital in helping with our speech and in both chewing and swallowing our food. But here are a few things you probably didn't know about this important, and admittedly strange thing hiding in our mouths.

To begin with, the tongue is categorized as a muscle. Specifically, it is actually made up of eight different muscles, shares Kids Health. Weird right? If somebody has ever asked you what a tongue is, then you likely hopped right over what it actually is and started to explain what its functions were. That's probably because this muscle has a few traits making it less distinguishable then the other muscles found in our bodies. As stated by Healthline, the tongue is the only muscle in our bodies that isn't connected to bone on both ends.

It's no wonder children want to have dessert for dinner

We've all heard of people claiming they have a "sweet tooth," but to be more accurate, they should be claiming they have a "sweet tongue." According to Mental Floss, our taste buds are located on our tongues, and, just like the rest of our bodies, they change as we get older. Erich Voigt, otolaryngologist and clinical associate professor at NYU Langone Medical Center explains that as children, our tongues are more sensitive to sweet tastes than adults' tongues are. "It explains why children really enjoy sweets and candies, as compared to adults who may enjoy more complex flavors and spices," he says.

This standout muscle can also produce some strange conditions. Having a hairy tongue may sound like something out of a Sci-Fi novel but it is a real (and strange) occurrence. WebMD tells us that "hairy tongue" is a condition when Papillae (the nodules on the tongues surface) can overgrow, giving off a hairy white or black appearance on your tongue. A hairy tongue is harmless, and can be treated by scraping off the excess growth.

We're satisfied in knowing our tongue can help us with our speech and our food. The other strange and sometimes hairy facts are just a bonus!