The ancient Greeks believed that melancholy was produced by the spleen and the English said it was anger, but a group of Harvard medical students is tossing around some other explanations in a recent video send-up of the insanely viral The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?) (which has received more than 275 million hits on YouTube). The new video was created for the 107th Second-Year Show, an annual musical and comedy event put on by medical and dental students.
Dancing around the hallowed halls of their academy to pulsing electronica (probably very, very late at night), the performers describe the essential functions of the other organs and ask, "But there's one thing that no one knows: What does the spleen do?" Some of the cheeky explanations put forward by America's future top docs include "vestigial fin" and "male uterus." Everybody sing: "Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!" Or perhaps, they muse: "If you can live without your spleen, can your spleen live without...you-ou-ou-ou-ou?" All together now: "You-ou-ou-ou-ou."
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The spleen's real function — filtering red blood cells — is slipped into a verse but dismissed with a "Nah, man, that's crazy." It's more fun to think of it as a "backup tongue" that's "kind of shaped like Brazil."
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