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The body's reactions are often surprising. We are used to most of them, but some behaviors are difficult to explain. Where do hiccups and tears of joy come from? Why is it hard to tickle myself? What's the point of yawning? Find out how our body works.

Some of them are embarrassing, some are irritating, some of them are only frightening or irritating when we are in company. But there is something they have in common: hiccups, closing your eyes when sneezing, yawning, goosebumps, crying when cutting onions, and other unusual body responses are all natural and physiological: this is how the human body responds to certain stimuli.

Interestingly, some of them - such as goosebumps - allowed people to survive. Currently, however, many of them are completely unnecessary to us. And some, such as hiccups or crying while slicing onions, make life difficult. But still, it's worth knowing where they came from and why they sometimes tease us so much.

Where does the hiccup come from?

It is the body's defensive reflex that causes the diaphragm to contract strongly. They are stimulated by irritation of the phrenic nerve in the esophagus by too much food. Hiccups make it easy to swallow as it reduces pressure in the stomach, which causes food to be sucked into the stomach.

It also increases pressure around the throat and esophagus by forcing a bite of food down. Usually, however, hiccups do not serve any purpose - in general, this reflex is triggered by mistake, e.g. when we wash down hot food with a cold drink. Sometimes it occurs for no apparent reason and lasts for a long time.

Where do the tears of joy come from?

We cry not only for sadness, but also for joy. Both these feelings cause equally strong nervous tension. Crying relieves them - it inhibits the secretion of stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, and increases the production of endorphins, the happiness hormones. It is therefore a safety valve for our psyche. It frees us from an excess of emotions, both negative and positive.

Why is it hard to tickle yourself?

When someone tickles, we squeal and defend ourselves desperately. At the same time, we laugh because we know that the attacker's attack is not real. But when we try to tickle ourselves, there won't be anyreaction. Why? By irritating the nerve endings in the skin, nerve impulses are sent to the brain, which is responsible for interpreting them and for our reaction.

The tickling sensation only arises when he is surprised by the tickling stimulus. And it is rather impossible when we brush our feet with a feather. We do it consciously.

What's the point of yawning?

We yawn to stimulate brain activity in situations where sleep is not desired. That is why we do it quite often when we get out of bed, at a boring meeting, or when we are very tired. In this way, we mobilize ourselves to act and focus our attention, because yawning stimulates the brain and the heart rate. Why is it so contagious?

It is believed to be a primal reflex that increased a person's chances of survival by stimulating group members to remain vigilant. So it was important that such a non-verbal signal was transmitted quickly and almost unconsciously.

Why do we need goosebumps?

It serves no purpose at present as our skin is almost bare. For our much hairy ancestors, however, it did matter. Goose bumps served as protection against the cold. The hairs lifted by tiny muscles kept warm air warmed by the skin, thus isolating the body from the cold.

And when our ancestors felt fear, it helped discourage our enemies from attacking. The spiky hair seemed bigger and stronger than it really was. Today, small muscles put delicate hairs at attention. This reflex always appears when we are cold or afraid of something.

Why do we close our eyes when we sneeze?

We do it involuntarily. Most of us are unable to control this reflex. It is supposed to protect the eyes from damage. When you sneeze, very high pressure is created in your sinuses due to the dizzying speed of the air (170 km / h) coming out of your lungs. Such pressure may be dangerous for the eyes.

Do we have to cry while cutting an onion?

When onion is cut, substances are released from its cells, which form volatile sulfur-containing compounds. When they reach the eyes and combine with tears, they form a low concentration of sulfuric acid.

The brain immediately registers the danger and, in order to neutralize the sulfuric acid, commands the lacrimal glands to increase the production of tears to wash the eyes.

Why do excess calories turn into fat?

There is a lot of truth in the old adage that "before fat loses weight, hell goes to hell", there is a lot of truth. Adipose tissue is a store the body can draw fromenergy when food is scarce. It was nature invented to accumulate such supplies for a rainy day at the dawn of our species, when our ancestors rarely had the opportunity to eat their fill.

So they needed such protection during the famine. Today it is not a threat to us, but the mechanism of storing energy in the form of adipose tissue, unfortunately, has remained.

Why do we blush with shame?

The reddening mechanism is well known. We know that we get blushes when exposed to heat, after drinking alcohol, or from emotions because they cause blood vessels to widen. But why do we turn red when we are embarrassed, ashamed?

This phenomenon is caused directly by our mind and is related to social relations. But what is it supposed to serve? It is not known. We can only speculate. It is probably a non-verbal way of communicating with the environment - a form of an apology for breaking social rules and an attempt to win over the rest of the group by admitting guilt.

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