“Ouch, I just bumped my funny bone!” said many a human in this life. Why is it called a funny bone when it isn’t exactly funny to bump it? Is it called that because it is a bone on a funny area on a human arm and do people really have a funny bone?
The answer is no, humans don’t have a funny bone simply because it isn’t a bone at all. It is actually a nerve anatomically known as the ulnar nerve and only when it is bumped against the humerus bone, which is the long bone connecting the elbow to the shoulder, does it cause the tingling and semi painful feeling.
The ulnar nerve runs from the hand all the way up to the neck. Also, from the hand it runs nerve tissue through the hand and forearm that ends in two branches on the pinky and half way up the middle finger. A bump in this area can’t cause any damage to either the nerve or the bone under normal conditions.
When this area is hit the nerve is compressed against bone which causes temporary numbness and a tingling painful sensation travelling all the way from the elbow to the fingers. This particular area is prone to knocks being felt more than other areas of the body because it is only protected by fat and skin.
If we don’t in fact have funny bones in our bodies why is it called that?
There are numerous conclusions as to why but the most used is that the name derived from the funny feeling you get when this area is hit or bumped. The other conclusion is that it is a pun for the name of the bone in the upper arm which, as explained above, is the humerus – (hu-me-rus) – sounding a lot like the word humerous.
Let’s say that the funny bone is the only bone in the human body that can’t be broken!