Do your eyes well up at the sight of a sentimental movie? How about a love song? Do beautiful lyrics bring tears to your eyes? Of course, there are many things that can make you cry. Some are happy and some are sad. But, did you know that scientists have actually studied the subject of crying and have some news you may find interesting.
First, you should know that humans are the only living creatures that shed tears. Recent stories about water creatures showing sadness over the loss of a baby are interesting. But, we are far from understanding animal emotions – we have hardly scratched the surface of human feelings!
There is so much to know about crying! First, there are different types of tears. One type is called ‘basal tears’. These are tears that are always in your eyes – that’s right! You need your eyes to stay moist. They help you see more clearly and prevent infection.
Reflex tears are just as they sound. Your eyes tear up as a natural response to some irritants such as smoke or other chemicals. These are the tears you experience when you are chopping onions. If you have ever had smoke or other irritants get into your eyes, you know that they may water profusely. That is necessary in order for the material that is harming your eyes to be washed away thoroughly.
The last type of tears is ‘emotional’. That means they occur when your emotions set in. The truth is that scientists are not able to explain how this occurs. They can only confirm that sometimes when you are happy, sad or angry, tears may well up in your eyes and spill down your face. What can be said about emotional tears is there is a chemical reaction involved that causes crying to kick in. There is no question that the concept of crying and tears is complex and unique to the human experience.