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What is the caruncle?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The little reddish-pink fleshy substance on the inside corner of your eye is called a caruncle (that's an acceptable word in Scrabble). That's actually a remnant of the reptilian eye. Because reptiles have to see in fresh water (it can be irritating when it interacts with the salt in our bodies), a clear lid covers their eyes to allow them to see in water. Since humans don't need that flap to live in air, we lost it through evolution, and it became the remnant that we have today.
YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

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YOU: The Owner's Manual, Updated and Expanded Edition: An Insider's Guide to the Body that Will Make You Healthier and Younger

Between your full-length mirror and high-school biology class, you probably think you know a lot about the human body. While it's true that we live in an age when we're as obsessed with our bodies as...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.