Lifestyle Science

Apparently Being A Fetus Is Boring


A new photo was taken, as part of a study (yeah, even fetuses are involved in studies… Is nothing sacred?!), using fancy 4D scans, to see what fetuses are up to in the womb.

As well as kicking and punching a lady’s insides, fetuses also hiccup and stretch. These science-types discovered that babies do in fact yawn inside the womb, they also open their mouths randomly, so these guys wanted to see if they could capture a bona fide yawn, and as you can see: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! FETUS YAWN 2012! OMG! LOL! YOLO!

Ok, it is pretty awesome though. Look at that fetus! He’s all, tired or bored, being all human-like in that womb! It’s fascinating! Sort of… Either way, technology is awesome. And why do fetuses yawn? Guess what? We don’t even know why adults yawn. Or animals. Yawning is sort of a mystery, isn’t that cool?!

Studies emerge all the time attempting to unlock the secrets of, the yawn. Some say we yawn because it’s our body’s way of telling us “Hey! You’re not breathing enough, take in a deep breath so we can keep living, cool?!”, others say it’s because of fatigue, being tired. I feel like I yawn more when I’m tired, but maybe I just notice it more when I’m tired. Look, I don’t understand half of the things my body does all day. Why do we walk? Where do farts come from? Why do I cry every night before I go to bed? These are all questions that have no scientific answer.

Here’s a quote from one of the researchers on the project, Dr. Nadja Reissland:

“The results of this study demonstrate that yawning can be observed in healthy fetuses and extends previous work on fetal yawning. Our longitudinal study shows that yawning declines with increasing fetal age. Unlike us, fetuses do not yawn contagiously, nor do they yawn because they are sleepy. Instead, the frequency of yawning in the womb may be linked to the maturing of the brain early in gestation. Given that the frequency of yawning in our sample of healthy fetuses declined from 28 weeks to 36 weeks gestation, it seems to suggest that yawning and simple mouth opening have this maturational function early in gestation.”

So there you go! Could yawning in adulthood happen purely out of habit because we did it during early gestation? Who knows! All we know for sure is, yawning is pretty much an unavoidable, involuntary thing. If you don’t yawn, you just may be an alien. Why haven’t they tried that in movies?

Question: Why do you think we yawn?