Wide general knowledge and commonsense combine to create a unique and long overdue concept.
An External Apparatus to Expel Toxins.
Other Whales suffer from Toxic overload
The Narwhal Tusk extracts and expels heavy metals.
This idea regarding the function of the Narwhal's tusk is relevant to human beings as our own external keratin structures are also capable of absorbing and expelling heavy metals.
The explanation for unanswered questions relating to a wide variety of biological and other fields will be discussed here.
I am beginning with the Narwhal as there are still several unsolved problems relating to the Narwhal which help shed light onto this abstruse Hub topic; a topic which has not hitherto received the urgent study and attention needed by the scientific community. For example, the large size and distinctive shape of the Narwhal tusk will help us to understand the general concept regarding the absorption, retention and expelling of heavy metals from a biological organism. Other human and animal keratin based structures such as skin, teeth, nails and hair also have this function.
By comparing and contrasting many unsolved phenomena of various biological organisms we can easily posit a solution to these many mysteries by applying my hypothesis.
Current explanations surrounding the size, shape and function of the Narwhal tusk always leave an element of doubt and contradiction. For example, the tusk is not used for fighting but grass roots mythology automatically assumes it must be a weapon of some kind. Also, although recent studies have shown that the Narwhal tusk may be an additional kind of sensor there is no explanation as to why the tusk is so incredibly large or why its shape spirals. Other unanswered questions abound such as why females lack the huge tusk/s: this point in particular argues strongly for the traditional explanation that the large tusk is also a display to attract females in a similar manner as the copious feathers of the male peacock. In the peacock's case the enlarged feathers give the appealing signal of health.
If all of the Narwhal's mysteries and other mysteries can be solved with my hypothesis I put it to the reader that this field of study needs urgent attention.
Many organic structures may have several different functions such as display, health, warmth, protection etc. I will be arguing that the primary function of the Narwhal tusk is for health. It is this primary function that leads to other secondary functions such as display or residual sensory functions. Increasing levels of pollution have seen all other whales succumb to heavy metal poisoning with the exception of the Narwhal thus lending further credence to my hypothesis.
If we briefly review the record of heavy metal pollution it will become obvious that my hypothesis has great bearing on on our dire predicament as a species.
Clair Cameron Patterson (June 2, 1922 – December 5, 1995) "...compared the lead, barium and calcium levels in 1600 year-old Peruvian skeletons and showed a 700- to 1200-fold increase in lead levels in modern human bones with no comparable changes in the barium and calcium levels." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clair_Cameron_Patterson
I quote this merely to state the obvious: we are far more polluted now than ever before by heavy metals.
Further here is a quote from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC291719/ which investigates:
'..the association of current blood lead levels with three common psychiatric disorders, major depression, panic, and generalized anxiety, among young adults."
"Lead can adversely affect many parts of the body, including the brain, the nervous system and the cardiovascular system. It is known to affect memory, intelligence and motor skills. Because of these effects, exposure is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mood disorders, such as depression and anxiety. A recent study links lead exposure to pessimism in men.
Although the connection is not well understood, experts are beginning to understand how lead influences mental health. One way is that lead affects hormone and stress pathways in brain regions involved in depression and anxiety. It also influences the development of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases that lead to depression."
In other words such pollutants can arguable account for nearly all of modern human ailments both physical and psychological.
THE NARWHAL'S TUSK'S FUNCTION
The unexplained tusk of the Narwhal (made of a substance related to keratin) allows the animal to cope with toxins. The Narwhal lives up to 90 years and has no high concentrations of heavy metals in its fat unlike the other whales! The female Narwhal also has a small tusk and both sexes have interior residual teeth. The females also lose toxins via the placenta at childbirth.
The unusual spiraling pattern of the tusk also significantly increases the surface area of the tusk in order to maximize the chance to expel toxins. The surface thus has a greater chance to expel by leeching and osmosis. The strange spiral shape has no other explanation. A sealed, smooth tooth-like surface would be more aerodynamic but decrease the ability of the tusk to expel toxins.
Its tusk is rich in keratin-like material throughout and thus provides a safe storage place for toxins. The tusk can also expel toxins via a softer outer layer (cementum) and thousands of minuscule porous holes.
The appeal of the tusk as a mating enticement must logically be the tusks health giving properties. All animals respond to life enhancing physical characteristics during mating. Why should the Narwhal's tusk be any different!
The Narwhal still hasn't made it to the endangered level! What is keeping it healthy? It is undoubtedly the external apparatus ("horn") that stores and ejects heavy metals.
The ability of external keratin based biological structures to eject heavy metals explains a range of unsolved mysteries in the natural world (as listed below): it is also supported by associated phenomena in the animal kingdom.
CHERNOBYL: Nature's Solution
The animals are starting to flourish again at a site like Chernobyl for the same reason.
I am positing that their abundant external natural Keratin structures are effectively absorbing and deleting the heavy metals from their biology. Feathers, horns, leathery hides, fur, and scales all absorb and quickly reject heavy metals. Even the shells of eggs retain and delete heavy metals.
Whales on the other hand are susceptible to ocean pollutants as they are lacking natural normal effective mammalian externalized Keratin structures that simply eject when overloaded with toxins. That is, they have no scales which can be rejected when toxic levels are reached and hence store pollutants in their blubber and other internalized keratin structures leading to toxic overload. This I propose leads to their becoming disoriented; and impacted by psychological and biological suffering.
The Narwhal is the only whale without heavy metals in its fat deposits.
NAKED MOLE RAT
The naked mole rat is the only partially mammalian animal that does not possess abundant external natural keratin yet is able to remain healthy and cancer free. This is due to unique evolutionary developments that allow their bodies to produce natural Interferon to fight cancers, plus mechanisms to cope with cellular degeneration, and copious amounts of keratin (fur) IN ITS MOUTH which absorbs and readily ejects heavy metals. Also, their strange bodies do not retain heavy metals in fat deposits as they do not have large fat deposits.
This rat also constantly wears down it's very long teeth in it's relentless burrowing. This ensures that it's bodies impurities can be both extracted by the teeth and ejected by constant wear.
We are in the position of the whale: naked mammals with no rapid externalized biological way to quickly absorb and reject heavy metals. Our fat deposits have increased and thus retain heavy metals internally. Our skin and nails can only slowly and unsuccessfully remove some of the heavy metals in our bodies thus leading to many skin disorders. Attempts to remove pollutants with artificial keratin based sulphate chemicals can itself lead to an increase of internalized biological pollution.
Our only effective external structure is the hair and follicle which is now heavily depleted and also saturated with detergent based toxins which make it ineffective as a means to eject pollutants out of the body. Added to this is the physical removal of the actual follicle by new chemical agents. I propose this is leading to new skin and flesh eating diseases as human skin does not have the rapid ability to eject toxins like tough leathery hides or reptilian shedding.
AUSTRIAN ARSENIC EATERS
Prior to modern history and the high frequency use of chemical based cleaning products, beards and long female hair played a vital role in removing body toxins. The famed Austrian arsenic eaters were heavily bearded and possessed thick luxuriant head hair: at least the ones who thrived on the dangerous habit and lived to ripe old age! Perhaps there was some truth to the werewolf myth via such scenarios.
Rasputin was reportedly an arsenic eater in order to build resistance against assassination attempts. He may have also used it as a refreshing tonic for grueling cross country pilgrimages.
Hitlers medicine cabinet included arsenic! Another famous Austrian arsenic eater perhaps?
Austrians still grow mighty beards as seen by the recent Eurovision winner!
Ancient cultures praised the virtue of male beards and female long hair; and many religions still insist such hair is valuable and needs to be retained and uncut.
Our closest living animal relative the chimpanzee flourishes even after being given deliberate doses of heavy metals that would easily kill a human being. They merely lose a little more fur, grow it quickly back and then lose it again etc.
I posit we are being polluted by our own recent biological evolution.
By leaving our animal nature behind we have inadvertently left our species open to self pollution.
Toxins fatal to humans did not kill Chimps.
Pieces of the Puzzle
Mighty vs Small
The mighty whale seems to be a more delicate animal than the feeble looking naked mole rate. Has the whale's evolutionary loss of external keratin structures and its large internal fat deposits worked against it in the elimination of modern toxins?
WIKI:Keratin is a family of fibrous structural proteins. Keratin is the key structural material making up the outer layer of human skin. It is also the key structural component of hair and nails. Keratin monomers assemble into bundles to form intermediate filaments, which are tough and insoluble and form strong unminerlaized tissues found in reptiles, birds, amphibians, and mammals. The only other biological matter known to approximate the toughness of keratinized tissue is chitin.
RASPUTIN: no poisons were allegedly found in Rasputin's stomach after his assassination. I allege that toxic poisons were siphoned very rapidly into his hair and beard; as well as being literally "mopped up" via the interaction between long hair and sweat. This remarkable ability of hair to absorb large quantities of toxins is now well known (see below). Rasputin was subjected to many assassination attempts and photo comparisons show hair loss occurring very rapidly on occasion!
Furthermore Rasputin was known NOT to bathe which left his skin and hair free of all artificial detergents and chemicals thus increasing the keratin's ability to fully absorb all poisons.
Anecdotal evidence regarding modern snake bite cases suggest that within 24 hours a victim's hair and fingernails can fall out (thus rapidly absorbing, and then ejecting, toxins).
Cats have also been known to immediately lose copious quantities of fur after poisoning and then to recover.
Bats Immunity to Disease
Bats are one of the few animals whose external keratin apparatus is about as large as the rest of its own body: wings.
The elongated wing bones hold the very large rubbery wing skin. This together with mammalian fur enables the bats to deal with a host of toxins and diseases. The weight and volume of the wings may even outweigh the rest of the bats body.
Recent evolutionary theory posits that flight is somehow connected to the amazing immune ability of bats.
It is interesting to note the recent outbreaks of "white nose" disease amongst American bats. This is caused by an "extreme-ophile" organism that thrives in freezing temperatures and has now tested the limits of the bats ability to repel diseases. This phenomena may be a result of climate change but is still being investigate.
According to my theory bats will become immune to white nose disease and experience a resurgence in numbers once they evolve the ability to shed skin similar to reptiles.
Both the follicle and the hair itself exhibit some amazing properties.
Hair is used to soak up oil spills and can be recycled hundreds of times and still be of use!
The follicles of a person suffering from severe toxin overload will channel the toxin into the hair. As well as this the hair shaft itself will significantly sponge up toxins emitted in sweat. When the hair becomes overloaded with toxins it simply ejects and regrows: the human body's only rapidly renewable resource to remove heavy metal toxins.
Keratin molecules also exhibit unusual properties of elasticity and strength.
Amazingly there has been no thorough scientific investigation into the importance of external keratin structures and their ability to remove toxins from the body.
The ideas presented here are my own and are solely based on wide personal general knowledge and commonsense observations.
The reasons for the Narwhals long tusk have long puzzled biologists. Although not made of Keratin its substance provides the ideal safe storage space for dangerous toxins.
Psoriasis at work.
Psoriasis: "baffling"causes still unknown.
"Unpredictable and irritating, psoriasis is one of the most baffling and persistent of skin disorders. It's characterized by skin cells that multiply up to 10 times faster than normal. As underlying cells reach the skin's surface and die, their sheer volume causes raised, red plaques covered with white scales. Psoriasis typically occurs on the knees, elbows, and scalp, and it can also affect the torso, palms, and soles of the feet.
The symptoms of psoriasis vary depending on the type you have. Some common symptoms for plaque psoriasis -- the most common variety of the condition -- include:
Plaques of red skin, often covered with loose, silver-colored scales; these lesions may be itchy and painful, and they sometimes crack and bleed. In severe cases, the plaques of irritated skin will grow and merge into one another, covering large areas.
Disorders of the fingernails and toenails, including discoloration and pitting of the nails; the nails may also begin to crumble or detach from the nail bed.
Plaques of scales or crust on the scalp"
NOTICE: according to my theory "psoriasis" is actually our thin human skin trying to rid itself of toxins (unlike tough leathery hides or heavy follicular animals). Notice also it frequently occurs near heavy follicled skin surfaces and NAILS as the toxins try unsuccessfully to wait in a "traffic jam" to get out of the body via the over worked, weakened and underrepresented follicles.
What is Missing?
There are no indications of follicles in nearly all images of psoriasis found on the net.
It is clear that many, if not all, of the victims have used chemical based defoliates.
The Future of Human Evolution?
Naked Mole Rat Precise distribution
The calcareous shell of the mollusc also serves as a way of dealing with toxins and leaves the delicate interior organism free of heavy metals. Living on the most polluted parts of the sea bed these shelled creatures still manage to thrive.
Tusks such as the Narwhal, Walrus and Elephant, although not Keratin, are capable of playing the same role.
The ability of external keratin based external biological structures to rapidly absorb and eject heavy metals has barely been noted by science. This phenomena is usually limited to passing comments regarding the loss of hair during radiation therapy without fully comprehending the implications or the parallels in the animal kingdom. As a result various so-called "mysteries" have been noted by observers who still scratch their heads for answers.
Perhaps deep rooted psychological reasons are to blame. Our own main external keratin structure, common hair (except head hair), has become not only unfashionable but is seen as highly undesirable and doesn't bear thinking about. There is a repugnance associated with it that goes back to our early evolution when man extracted himself from the animal world. Occasionally in mythology we see a resurfacing of the quasi-human figure still partially enmeshed in the animal kingdom. These figures are often heroic in the East.
It is no mystery that the Narwhal has little or no heavy metals in its body fat as nature has given it a way of expelling these dangerous toxins. The tusk itself has become so long that narwhal's have been seen deliberately breaking them! This deliberate breaking is yet another "mystery" easily solved by my theory: the tusk has become over elongated due to increasing levels of pollution: its function of ejecting toxins thus fits into the idea of getting rid of any excess.
The spiral structure can only serve to increase surface area which directly relates to my hypothesis.
Any secondary sensory use the tusk has pales in comparison to its main function which keeps the animal healthy.
Furthermore many other so called biological mysteries can be easily solved by the application of my hypothesis to their analysis as seen above.
I put it to the reader that actual predictions can also be made on the basis of this hypothesis such as the increase in size and occurrence of the Narwhal tusk. According to my theory the female tusk will become larger and there will be more binary tusks appearing on male Narwhals. A profitable area of research could well be in the measurement of increases in size and occurrence of the female Narwhal tusk;also, in greater prevalence of male binary tusks.
In relation to the evolution of the appearance of human beings we will see a growth of other external keratin structures and a thickening of skin tissue plus dramatic increases in psoriasis.
Update 2016: New teeth occurring in Whales
In February 2016 a juvenile beaked whale was found with extra teeth. This surprised scientists and they are "baffled" by it. We should not be baffled.
The causes of this biological change should be apparent to readers familiar with the premise of this hub. The beaked whale has an abundance of keratin in the beak structure and the dormant capacity to grow teeth.
Unfortunately this whale had washed up dead on a beach which does not bode well for the accelerated evolutionary changes to catch up with sea pollution.
Beaked Whale and Teeth.
Andrew Petrou (author) from Brisbane on June 07, 2016:
Thanks. It's staring people in the face but somehow doesn't gel in the minds of many.
Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on June 06, 2016:
This is a very interesting and thought provoking hub. Thank you for sharing your ideas!
Andrew Petrou (author) from Brisbane on February 11, 2016:
nature is good at combining purposes. Animal fur protects from the cold but it also eliminates toxins. Likewise tusks are useful for a variety of reasons such as display, foraging but they happen to store away toxins.
Randa Awn Handler from USA on February 11, 2016:
Interesting logical assumptions when it comes to environmental toxins embedding themselves and causing morphing results. Your suggestion that tusks are growing due to that is with some merit. And, I was always fascinated by the strange Rasputin and didn't even know that he ate arsenic!
Andrew Petrou (author) from Brisbane on June 22, 2015:
its a shame our hair is so chock full of detergents and chemicals.
The beauty of the theories here is their simplicity and the way so many pieces of the puzzle instantly fall into place.
Longhairdon'tcare on June 22, 2015:
I always loved long hair on both men and women; it always felt right. This just adds to that feeling I always knew intuitively but could never fully explain. I love uncovering mysteries, making connections, and finding answers. Truly loved reading this.
Andrew Petrou (author) from Brisbane on February 20, 2015:
Try pure pomegranate seed oil. It strengthens hair.
Also a tablespoon of black sesame with breakfast/or other meal.
Bebe on February 20, 2015:
Thank you for visiting my blog - I'm your neeswt follower. And I could use some hair advice, that's for sure. I'm 41, and my hair is really beginning to thin. It has always been thin, fine hair...but now? there's not much of it, either! I'll search your blog to see if you have any tips or information on thinning hair/hair loss. Thanks!
Andrew Petrou (author) from Brisbane on January 21, 2015:
The generally high toxicity of our polluted environment is enough to increase toxin levels in all of us. Add to that deliberate things like smoking and drinking alcohol and we can't win.
Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 20, 2015:
Very interesting hub. It makes me wonder who or what is poisoning me because I actually have psoriasis. Extremely well written article.