Growing up we were allowed to stay home from school only if our fever crept above 100 degrees. So anytime we had a stuffy nose, we'd take a long, hot shower to push up the thermometer reading. But we never considered the significance of our body's typical temperature: a balmy 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius for the rest of the world).

Turns out our bodies have a good reason for being so stubborn—our skin even expands and contracts to keep us close to the magic number. As this video from SciShow explains, regulating temperature is the body's way of fighting fungus from growing inside us. Too cold: We’d be no better than a giant petri dish. Too warm: We wouldn’t have enough energy to move. Scientists calculated 36.6 degrees Celsius to be the sweet spot where we kill fungus but don't burn too much energy. So at least in terms of temperature, we're pretty damn close to perfect.

READ THIS NEXT: Why Putting Hydrogen Peroxide on Cuts Is a Bad Idea
 

Take on too much in the New Year?

We'll make crushing your goals a whole lot easier by sending you a healthyish idea you can do every day.
Sign up to get healthy ideas
via Facebook Messenger
 
CLOSE

Sign up for a daily healthyish text message

Status Available in the U.S. and Canada only. Clicking "SIGN UP" means you would like to receive text messages from Greatist. Msg & Data rate many apply. Text STOP to cancel or HELP for help.