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Useless Bits of Body

Useless Bits of Body

By Gavin Hammond

Chinese food - my favourite. I'm particularly partial to spare ribs, although I have often wondered why certain animals have bits which are considered “spare.”

It is often misquoted that women have one extra rib compared to men, a fallacy which is no doubt biblical in origin. Anatomically, both men and women have twelve pairs of ribs – the lowest two pairs, known as ‘floating ribs’, are only connected to the spinal column and not the rest of the rib cage. Nevertheless, there is nothing spare about them.

While most of the ribs provide protection to the organs contained within the chest, such as the heart and lungs, the floating ribs help prevent damage occurring in the stomach, spleen and kidneys.

"I do have nipples and even a little bit of breast tissue.  It turns out I used to be a woman."
Moving on to other spare parts of the body, I can proudly declare that I do not have man-boobs (or, scientifically speaking, gynecomastia). Having said that, I do have nipples and even