Men’s Beards May Have Evolved to Sustain Punches to the Head, Random Study Suggests Scientists Are Running Out of Things to Study

The theory of evolution (made popular by one Charles Darwin) suggests that man evolved from apes. While homeschooled children may disagree, there has been much evidence to support this theory, not the least of which is our ability to grow hair from various orifices. Of course, the best example of this is the mecca of all facial hair: the beard. Beards are magical things, capable of turning an average Joe into a lumberjack sex god. Beards are the difference between boy and man. There is a sacred sacrament shared by those who frolic with folic. For those who know, no explanation is needed; for those who don’t, no explanation will ever be good enough. As if the power to turn a six into an eight wasn’t enough, new research suggests that having a beard can actually allow men (and women, we guess?) to better absorb punches to the head.

Yeah, we’re not sure why this is a “study,” either. But scientists get bored just like we do. You bake banana bread, they study beards. To each their own. The point is, people with beards can better sustain a punch to the head. According to a hypothesis from a team of biologists at the University of Utah, “human beards protect vulnerable regions of the facial skeleton from damaging strikes.”

In order to test this hypothesis, the bored AF scientists set up some fake heads made of fiber epoxy (think crash-test dummies) and layered them with various, um, layers of sheep’s wool (or, as Ron Burgandy would say, lanolin). They then used a drop-weight impact tester to measure the collective force versus time on each head. They concluded that “fully furred samples were capable of absorbing more energy than plucked and sheared samples.”

So, there ya go. Not only are beards immensely attractive, but they can also offer resistance if you ever get punched in the face. The same cannot be said for men with goatees or soul patches, which is ironic because those are the guys that need to be punched in the face the most.

Cover Photo: max-kegfire (Getty Images)

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