The Most Important Body Parts, Ranked
People with all their body parts in tact and fully functional often take for granted how good they really have it: head, shoulder, knees, toes... the body’s a wonderland, folks. And unless you lose some of it -- whether losing a pinkie to a yakuza following a street race or a foot to your unrelenting candy habit -- it's not often that we show our parts the respect they deserve.
Still, not all parts are created equal. Which is why we decided to (completely arbitrarily) rank the most important external body parts in order of greatness.
Who decided that we’re just going to all have these two leaky patches under our arms? Seriously, our shoulders don’t drip. Our chest isn’t continuously damp. Why would there be a random swamp under our arms near all that dry land? There’s no valid excuse. It’s a stupid body part.
19. Belly button
It’s basically the same thing as that stupid little tip on a balloon. Somebody was designing humans and just needed a spot where all the fabric can be tied together without it being too much of an eyesore. I guess the middle of the stomach isn’t the most visible spot to put it, but couldn’t it have been behind a kneecap or something?
Yes, I’m aware that nipples are extremely valuable body parts for women breastfeeding their children. However, a male nipple is the most pointless and stupid thing imaginable. It’s like putting an extinguisher on a fire truck. Since it’s only useful to about 50% of the population right off the bat, it’s clearly not that valuable a body part.
Abs are useless. Yeah, I’m probably saying that because I don’t have any and I wish I did. but whatever. They’re stupid.
Hair is one of those cosmetic things. It sure looks nice, and some people have way better hair than others, but at the end of the day, it’s totally just there for aesthetic purposes. Just take a look at all the famous people throughout history who accomplished incredible things without hair: Gandhi didn’t have hair and he was influential in India’s independence movement. Michael Jordan won six NBA championships without hair. And Steve Harvey didn’t get his daytime talk show or land the Family Feud gig until he went totally bald.
Let me share a quick story with you. I separated my shoulder about a year ago while wrestling with a 300lb friend (moving him proved to be harder than originally imagined). It never fully healed properly, and it’s still incredibly weak and it pops out at the most inconvenient times. It can be extremely painful and frustrating, because once you mess up your shoulder, it’s never really the same ever again. It’s sort of just crappy from that point on. Having said that, I can still function normally and participate in everything I used to be able to. It just hurts and sucks sometimes.
Teeth are very important, but they’re also easily replaced. It’s not like you can go to a specialist and get a mold made and suddenly have fake eyeballs installed. Denture technology has come a long way (I’m assuming?), and while losing your teeth is annoying, it’s not the end of the world. They serve a vital purpose by making your food edible, but it’ nothing that can’t be solved with fake teeth or a blender.
13. The Butt
Some people love butts. I don’t blame them at all. A nice butt is a great thing to look at (more on looking at stuff later), but nice or ugly, they all serve the same purpose of pushing waste out of your body, plus giving you something to sit on. So, a good butt is essentially just as useful as a bad butt.
All five of your senses are essential to your ability to experience life. They each serve a fantastic purpose that help us get the most out of everything. But, like a parent with five unique children, you kind of know which one the ugly one is. Scent isn’t as valuable as sight or touch. Hell, 75% of smells are actually bad (according to the fact that I just made up) and should be avoided. Sure, the smell of fresh cookies is incredible, but is it really worth enduring airplane farts?
This is a very underrated body part. Often overlooked, eyelashes keep a lot of junk out of your eyes. Basically, they help you see. They’re not the star of the show, but they’re valuable nonetheless. They’re not Michael Jordan, but they’re Dennis Rodman. They do the dirty work. Their utility goes unnoticed, but things just wouldn’t be the same without them. Thanks, eyelashes. We see you!
Feet are important for your balance, but with advancements in modern technology you can probably just get some prosthetics that work as well. Furthermore, feet are gross. Just think about how much dirt and filth is on the ground, just waiting to be stepped on. You may as well give up on trying to keep your feet clean, because it’s not worth the hassle. Just accept that your feet will suck and move on with you life.
Have you ever suffered a neck injury? Even the most minor kink in your neck can cause debilitating pain. Plus, your neck is key to maximize the use of your peripherals, which is useful for staring at attractive people without getting caught. Without the use of your neck, you straight up have to turn and stare at them. That’s real value.
We’re getting down to the good ones now! Your ears are valuable because hearing is extrenely important. It’s part of how we communicate with one another, and it’s part of how we ingest a ton of knowledge. Then again, aside from music and entertainment, how much of what you hear throughout a given day is bullshit? Imagine not being able to hear all those questions from your boss, or not be able to hear the fourth time your friend tells that story about how he got a pic with Wiz Khalifa? Doesn’t seem too bad, if you ask me.
The legs are like the arms of the southern part of your body. They’re extremely useful, claiming ownership of the knees, thighs, ankles, and various other focal parts. However, if you don’t use them and take care of them, they’ll develop joint problems and cause serious pain.
The legs are Mexico to the arms’ United States. They’re similar; they’re both great and they both have their issues as well, but there’s just slightly more problems below the border. Leg problems can also cause a ton of headaches (Not, like, medically… well, maybe. I’m not sure. I’m no doctor). Plus, with the evolution of prosthetics, you could lose your legs and hardly miss a beat. Hell, you can even win the Olympics. And then never do anything horrible at all afterward.
Between the forearms, wrists, elbows, triceps, and biceps, the arms are fully stocked with useful sub-parts. I would rather lose the use of my legs than my arms. I only stand up a handful of times any given day, but I’m constantly using my arms. Besides, hands coming out of my shoulders would just look awkward and stupid. Like an idiot T-Rex.
Do you have any idea how much I hold or pick stuff up on a daily basis? I couldn’t work out. I couldn’t play any sports. I couldn’t use any cutlery. Jeez, I write for a living! Do you know how hard typing would be without fingers? I’d have to hold a straw in my teeth and aim it at one key at a time. This article would take me days!
While we’re talking about hands, let’s do a quick sub-ranking of the fingers from least important to most:
5. Ring finger
It’s the symbol for marriage, but that’s about the extent of its usefulness. You could chop that one off and still function just fine.
The pinkie is valuable when it comes to holding/lifting things. If you chop it off, then the ring finger suddenly gets a promotion to pinky and must take over those responsibilities. Your lifting radius takes a serious decline, as you can only grip much smaller things.
3. Middle finger
Aside from the obvious meaning behind the finger, which should not go undervalued, it’s also the center of the hand. It’s the anchor of the defense that evens everything out.
2. Index finger
What can’t an index finger do? It points, it pulls triggers, it picks noses, and it’s often to go-to button-pushing digit. It’s usually the most used finger of the hand. It’s definitely leading the team in minutes played and points per game, but it isn’t the most valuable…
The thumb is the variable! It’s what separates us from the animals. Well, that and an organized society… but you know what I mean. The thumb makes a set of fingers into a hand.
I didn’t want to offend any blind people by ranking eyes at #4, but then I remembered that they won’t be reading this. Eyesight is so important to living your life normally, but it isn’t life-ending. There are plenty of blind people who have accomplished remarkable things that most able-bodied people couldn’t even imagine. Do you think having shitty eyes ever slowed down Stevie Wonder? Nope! Plus, best-case scenario, you get an awesome dog!
Ah, the fun stuff! I’m sure there are more people than we expect who have no privates and live very regular, ordinary lives. Here’s the thing, though; if we all got rid of our privates, humans would be dead within 100 years, max. Totally erased. These parts are essential to our reproduction as a population. If we chopped off every wiener and scooped out all the ladypockets, we’d be in serious trouble.
The mouth is the main point of entry into the body for the majority of our essential nutrients. We drink using our mouth, we eat using our mouth, and we even ingest most of our oxygen through our mouth. I’m not sure about the science behind it, and I’ve never tried it for myself, but I imagine that pulverizing a cheeseburger and snorting it doesn’t have the same effect on the body. The mouth is also pretty vital to communication and expression. All in all, its a real neat tool that’s the most useful part of our face, but not our whole body…
The back is really is the motherboard of your whole body. If you mess up your back or spine, pretty much everything else is screwed. That thing can literally cripple you and render your legs, arms, and everything else in between useless. Even the slightest pulled muscle or minor back injury can land you in bed for weeks. Injuring the spine is even worse. So watch your back! That wasn’t a threat. Seriously, take care of that thing.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Tyler Lemco is a writer and rapper from Montreal, Canada. Tyler's interests include burgers, sports, cheeseburgers, music, and bacon cheeseburgers. You can follow him on Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, or literally any other social media with the handle @tlemco.