Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Goosebumps: Paranormal Phenomena or Natural Reaction

Paranormal Phenomena or Natural Reaction

Allen Tiller 

Goosebumps, those odd feeling little prickly bumps that rise on our skin from time to time, have become a recent “Ghost Hunting” sensation, due to a paranormal television show claiming they are a reaction to “energy” or “spirits” present in the area the team are in....but what are they really? And are they paranormal?

Goosebumps is a reflex action called “Piloerection”

Piloerection is also known as “Horripilation” and “Pilometer Reflex”, or as its medical term, “cutis anserina“ it occurs in not just humans, but many other mammals as well.

Goosebumps can be brought about by cold breezes or emotions, such as awe, pleasure, fear and nostalgia, many people feel it when daydreaming, or when listening to a favourite piece of music.

Animals use Piloerection to make themselves look larger when they feel threatened. Ever seen the “hackles” on your dog? That’s piloerection too!


Wikipedia states the following:

Goosebumps are created when tiny muscles at the base of each hair, known as arrectores pilorum, contract and pull the hair erect. The reflex is started by the sympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for many fight-or-flight responses.

As a response to cold: in animals covered with fur or hair, the erect hairs trap air to create a layer of insulation. Goosebumps can also be a response to anger or fear: the erect hairs make the animal appear larger, in order to intimidate enemies. This can be observed in the intimidation displays of chimpanzees, in stressed mice and rats, and in frightened cats. In humans, it can even extend to piloerection as a reaction to hearing nails scratch on a chalkboard, listening to awe-inspiring music, or feeling or remembering strong and positive emotions (e.g., after winning a sports event).

So why is it called a “Goosebump”?

Basically, it is because the goosebump looks like the pimply skin of a plucked goose...

The alternate name for goose-bumps is goose-flesh. The Germans use an almost identical term Gaensehaut (gooseskin) and the Italians say pelle d'oca( goose-skin). All of these draw from the appearance of a goose when it has been plucked.

So is it paranormal or natural?

It is a natural phenomenon and not paranormally linked in any other way than a natural reaction to one's surroundings, “fight or flight” instincts and heightened senses due to fear.

Videos with more information


© 2007 - 2014 Allen Tiller


All content on “Eidolon Paranormal & The Haunts of Adelaide” sites, blog and corresponding media pages (eg Facebook, twitter etc) is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any means or process without the written permission of the author. © 2012, 2013, 2014

All photos remain the property of their respective copyright owners and are displayed here for the purpose of education, research and review under the copyright act "fair usage" clause.

Some photos used here on this site are sourced from The State Library of South Australia, and The National Library of Australia and http://www.gawler.nowandthen.net.au - all photos are out of copyright and have no usage restrictions implied.

No comments:

Post a Comment