The Science Behind “Goosebumps”

With Halloween upon us, there’s likely a hair-raising situation waiting to give you goosebumps, chicken skin or make your skin crawl. Those might seem like silly terms, but they all come from the fact that, when we’re scared (or cold), muscles tug at our hair follicles, causing our hair to raise and giving our skin a bumpy texture similar to that of a featherless chicken. Goosebumps still affect us modern humans, but it actually goes back to our hairy ancestors, who would have benefitted from a puffier look when in danger or the warmth from thicker fur. Learn more about the science of goose bumps on NPR.