People are only now just learning the purpose of the pinky toe.
Our toes are a part of our body that are often overlooked and underappreciated.
No longer are they used in helping us cling to trees and we only really pay attention to them when we stub them or want them to look good if we are wearing sandals.
However, this part of our body still play’s a crucial role in our lives and offers us several advantages.
Check out this person who had their toes shortened after trolls teased them below…
In a 2009 experiment published in The Journal of Experimental Biology, researchers explored the efficiency of various toe lengths in humans.
Surprisingly, they discovered that individuals with longer toes had to exert more energy while running, indicating that having smaller toes does come with an advantage.
However, another study contradicted that and found that sprinters tend to have longer toes, sacrificing energy efficiency for a short burst of speed advantage.
Even the pinky toe – which is often considered insignificant and the most pointless appendage on the human body – actually has a vital role to play.
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While all toes contribute to helping us keep our balance and forward movement, the pinky toe, also known as the ‘little piggy’ has a surprisingly important function.
Podiatrist Dr Bruce Pinker from Progressive Foot Care explained to How Stuff Works that the pinky toe provides balance and propulsion.
As we take a step, our foot naturally rolls from lateral to medial, and the pinky toe’s knuckle plays a crucial role in this movement.
He says: “The purpose of the pinky toe is to provide balance and propulsion.
“As one takes a step, the foot rolls from lateral to medial in normal foot biomechanics.”
Dr Wenjay Sung, an attending physician at White Memorial Medical Group, further emphasises to PopSci: “We walk like a tripod fashion, where the big toe knuckle, the fifth toe knuckle and the heel, have a tripod walking ability.”
He explains that our gait relies on this tripod fashion, and if one part of the tripod is missing, we risk losing our balance.
“If you remove one part of that tripod, you lose balance,” he adds.
While some people are born without pinky toes or may lose them due to illness or accidents, they can adapt to walking without them.
However, this can lead to an altered gait and a higher chance of falling over more often due to imbalance.
So next time you stub your toe or slip on those sandals, remember that these little piggies serve a crucial purpose in our daily lives.
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