Crying – 5 facts you need to know

Sometimes when I cry, my head starts to ache. The same thing happens to my 12 year old daughter. That was my inspiration to write 5 the most interesting facts you need to know about crying. So, let’s start!

Photo by Luis Galvez on Unsplash
  1. Why do we have tears? As I always want to point, there is reason for everything. Evolution made us cry for a good reason. Actually, we cry for 3 different reasons: basal tears are those that clean and lubricate your eyes, keeping our eyes healthy. When we peel onions or if we have problem with pollen or bacteria, we cry reflex tears. The function of reflex tears is to cry out whatever got in. Emotional tears are the ones that come with emotions. Evolutionary biologist Oren Hasson suggested that we may have used tears to protect us from predators by making it harder to tell where we were gazing or to show others that we were vulnerable, that we would prefer to make peace.
  2. Are sad tears salty? Emotional tears differ from other kinds of tears by their contents.  They contain more epinephrine and norepinephrine (stress hormones) than other tears.  That is why emotional tears have denser concentration of sodium, which is why it stings a little when you are shedding emotional tears.  You rub your eyes more – and the eyes swell more. What we surely know that emotional tears are salty. Tears of happiness and touched emotions taste comparatively somewhat sweeter than other tears. The most interesting thing is that the angry tears are the saltiest!
  3. Do girls cry more? Yes, this is really true. On average, women cry three to five times more often than men. Testosterone (male hormone) seems to have an inhibiting influence on crying, while prolactin (higher levels in women) may promote crying. Female tear ducts are smaller, too. That’s why men can hold more tears then women.
  4. Why does your nose run when you cry? When you cry, your tears overflow from your eyes, goes into your nasal passage, and partof them end up flowing into our nose (and out of it, of course). As simple as that.
  5. Differences between cultures were found in different studies. The difference between how often men and women cry may be more pronounced in countries that allow greater freedom of expression and social resources, such as Chile, Sweden and the United States. On the other hand, Ghana, Nigeria and Nepal reported only slightly higher tear rates for women. The leading researcher, Dianne Van Hemert, says that people in wealthier countries may cry more because they live in a culture that permits it, while people in poorer countries don’t do so because of cultural norms that frown on emotional expression.

What else would you like to know about crying?


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