The role of the appendix in the human body has long been a mystery. Evidence that animal appendixes are larger and more active than humans lends to the mystique and leads scientists to wonder why humans have this seemingly useless organ. Other reasons for the mystery include a human's ability to function normally after removal of an appendix. Although the appendix has long been considered redundant or simply a source of gastric distress and trouble, newer evidence suggests it may perform a vital function for humans.
The appendix is part of the gastrointestinal (G.I.) tract, sitting where the small intestine meets the large intestine in the lower right portion of the torso, near the hip bone. Doctors refer to this position of the body as McBurney's Point. In rare cases of "mirror image anatomy," it can be on the lower left side. Other rare cases regarding the appendix include its absence from the body entirely, lending further credence to some scientists' speculation that it is unnecessary.
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