James Hamblin, former actual doctor and current senior editor at the Atlantic, hosts a video series exploring the miraculous/stupid/disgusting things humans do with our bodies. He also looks a little like Doug. In the series, If Our Bodies Could Talk, Hamblin has explored vital First World issues like probiotics, gluten-free diets, and intravenous hangover cures.
In his latest episode, Hamblin takes on showers. The question is, do we really need them? Or do they do more harm than good? As Hamblin points out, some scientists theorize that washing off the helpful bacteria on our bodies actually makes us less clean by disturbing our own delicate ecosystem. And it makes sense — why would we evolve to need constant rinsing, not to mention bath products and loofahs? Plus, showers are made of water, after all, and water doesn’t exactly grow on trees. In fact, according to Hamblin, if you spend 20 minutes a day washing your body (and live to be 100, which seems likely), you’ll spend 12,167 hours washing yourself in your lifetime. Clearly, that ain’t good for planet Earth.
To find out what would happen if he gave up this nasty habit, Hamblin quit showering. And the results are actually pretty surprising. You can watch the episode below, but first, we do have a question for Dr. Hamblin, and, unfortunately, this is one mystery has yet to be solved.
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