Ticklishness - Man's Ultimate Survival Technique
Pretty much everyone in the world is extremely ticklish, which is odd. So many people can endure so much physical contact yet be reduced to tears when touched lightly in specific areas. We all can admit it, (especially me) that we're forced to wet ourselves, cry for help and laugh uncontrollably when tickled for any length of time...Did I say wet ourselves? Oops...
The downside, other than the horrible feeling, of ticklishness is that it makes us look like idiots. You don't see Bruce Willis crying with laughter whilst being man-handled in a fight, but why do we, normal, non-famous humans act like babies when touched? Is it because we're just wusses? Are we secretly big babies? Or are we just awesomely sensitive bad-ass killers?
Actually it's the last one.
Seriously! Ticklishness is one of those evolutionary things that was left inside of us until now, with no viable purpose. But throughout history ticklishness had a major purpose.
Look at dogs. When they play the don't sit around a board and play scrabble, they fight. They grab at the neck and throat, almost killing each other. Whilst in reality they're playing it looks as it they've got serious issues with one another. And whilst they are playing, they're also training.
If the one dog can hold off against the other whilst playing, then (hopefully) the same dog will be able to hold off a predator, who will be going for, you guessed it, the neck of the animal.
But how does this link to ticklishness? Well the most sensitive areas are the neck, ribs and underarms, which just so happen to be the places which a predator will go for when attacking. By tickling others, we were training others to be able to defend themselves whilst being attacked.
Alright so ticklishness was beneficial, but most people are ticklish a little bit. Perhaps being a little ticklish is just as good as being very ticklish. Actually no. Our ancestors who happened to be very sensitive/very ticklish had better reactions and could tell if there were any parasites or predators upon them faster...Because it wasn't just Sabre-Tooth Tigers we were protecting ourselves from, small disease carrying predators were just as dangerous. The most sensitive survived longer than those who were only a little-bit ticklish.
So the next time someone tickles you into a harrowing submission, think, they're not doing it to laugh at you, they're doing it to protect you from wolves, Tigers and Lions...Probably.