I Just Learned The Unexpected Body Part Teeth May Have Evolved From, And I'm Horrified

However weird you think it is, it's weirder.
Beautiful smile with white teeth
bymuratdeniz via Getty Images
Beautiful smile with white teeth

Teeth are one of those things that you really shouldn’t think about for too long ― the more you do, the odder they seem.

Though they’re made from the toughest substance in our body, they can be worn down by the odd chocolate bar.

And they require so much upkeep (did you know people with wombs tend to have more acidic saliva, making dental maintenance a little harder?)

Well now for a truly bizarre fact ― your gnashers probably evolved from taste buds.

Come again?

Yep! Per the BBC, we had no teeth at all when we were oceanic creatures millions of years ago.

“How vertebrates developed teeth is undetermined but theory has it that either their tooth-like scales began to appear in their mouths as teeth, or some of their taste buds became harder,” they added.

Though this is uncertain, it does seem to be true that sharks’ ability to regenerate their teeth comes from their tastebuds.

Writing for The Conversation, Dr. Gareth J. Fraser, Lecturer in Evolutionary Developmental Biology at the University of Sheffield, explained a 2016 paper he and his colleagues had written on the topic.

It found that not only shark teeth evolved from their tastebuds, but that “both teeth and taste buds develop from the same stem cells in an embryonic shark’s mouth.”

The findings, and findings like it, might offer promising advances for human dentistry.

And research suggests it’s possible that this evolutionary quirk could have patterned itself somewhat onto mammals’ mouths, too.

Bodies are weird

Not freaked out enough? That’s okay ―you can also grow teeth pretty much anywhere in your body as a teratoma.

Some people lactate through the skin of their armpit after giving birth, too, and humans are probably more bacteria than we are, well, human.

Ah, the horrors of our inescapable flesh prisons...