Scientists haven't figured out why exactly we have uvulas. So far, we know that they help with saliva production, that they seem to affect speech, and that stimulating them initiates the gag reflex. They're made up of glands and muscle fibers, and some people actually get theirs pierced!
Uvulas Are Pretty Much Unique To Humans
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Key Facts In This Video
Scientists aren't 100% certain why we have uvulas. 00:27
The uvula produces saliva, and may also assist with speech. 00:47
The only other animals that have uvulas are baboons. 01:47