Even though the English language has become lingua franca for planet Earthers, we’ve also produced a bunch of other non-verbal universal signs.
When you see the symbol of a raised palm or big X, you know that means STOP. Or you’ve somehow found a secret pirate treasure.

You know the doodle pictograms for toilets the nanosecond you see them. In the last couple of decades, green recycle sign has also become a thing, also. Everyone ignores it, hehe.
And then, the tears.

A sacred universal sign, but not in the sense that is has the same meaning in all times and all places.


If weeping were a gesture with a single meaning, part of a universal language of feeling, then it would surely signify grief or sadness. That is the state with which it has been most frequently connected.


Yet, there were countless examples of joyful crying. Take Novak Djoković. Take Steph Curry. Take every sportsman or sportswoman when achieved the long awaited golden goal. Bloddy sobbing while singing the national anthem or winning the championship. Special mention goes to Hollywood actors during Oscars.

Theories of tears have always struggled to do justice to their nature, their symptoms and signs. Are tears to be treated like ocular ejaculation, nothing more than human waste, or as a work of art? Does their interpretation require the expertise of the physiologist, the physician, or the metaphysician?


In fact, there’s a lot scientists don’t know, or can’t agree on.
Charles Darwin once declared emotional tears are “purposeless,” and nearly 150 years later, emotional crying remains one of the human body’s more confounding mysteries.


Though some other species shed tears reflexively as a result of pain or irritation, humans are the only creatures whose tears can be triggered by their feelings.


In babies, tears have an obvious and crucial role of soliciting attention and care from adults. But what about us grownups? Oh well, that’s a lot less clear, for the least.


It’s obvious that strong emotions triggers those salty cheek droplets, but why?
There’s a surprising scarcity of hard facts about crying, that fundamental human experience.


Scientific doubt that crying has any real benefit beyond the physiological (tears lubricate the eyes) has persisted for centuries.


Beyond that, I’m afraid, researchers have generally focused their attention on emotions rather than on physiological processes that can appear to be their by-products.


What we know for sure?  — Crying is more than a symptom of sadness.
It’s triggered by a full spectre of feelings. From empathy and surprise to anger and grief, and unlike those butterflies that flap around invisibly when we’re in love, tears are a signal that others can actually see, empatize and react to.

And this is very important to the “newest” thinking about the science of crying.
Darwin wasn’t the only one with strong opinions about why homo sapiensens weep.
Many his successors have been speculating about where tears come from and why humans shed them since about 1,500 B.C.
Listen to this one: For centuries, people thought tears originated in the heart; the Old Testament describes tears as the by-product of when the heart’s material weakens and turns into water.
Later, in Hippocrates’ time, it was thought that the mind was the trigger for tears. A prevailing hypotesis in the 1600s held that emotions — love, especially — warmed the heart for real, which generated water vapor in order to cool itself down.
This one really broke me to hard lol:The heart vapor would then rise to the head, condense near the eyes and escape as tears. <3


Finally, in 1662, a Danish scientist named Niels Stensen discovered that the lacrimal gland was the proper origin point of tears.
This was the scientific breaking point at last!


That’s when scientists began to unpack what possible evolutionary hypothesis be conferred by fluid that springs from the eye. Stensen’s hypotesis: Tears were simply a way to keep the eye moist. Hm, let’s move on a bit.


Just a few scientists have devoted their studies to figuring out why humans cry, but those who do don’t really agree. Some hypotesis were so goddamn ridiculous just like the heart vapor one or the 1960s one that humans evolved from aquatic apes and tears helped us live in saltwater.
Dear cosmos, we’re so naïve and may I sa, plain stupid once.


Other theories persist despite lack of proof, like the idea popularized by biochemist William Frey in 1985 that crying removes toxic substances from the blood that build up during times of stress.


We’re slowly upgrading here. After that, the evidence is mounting in support of some new, more reasonable theories at last.
One is that tears trigger social bonding and human connection. While most other animals are born fully formed, humans come into the world vulnerable and physically unequipped to deal with anything on their own. Even though we get physically and emotionally more capable as we mature, grownups never quite age out of the occasional bout of helplessness.
Let’s translate it to something like this: Crying signals to yourself and other people that there’s some important problem that is at least temporarily beyond your ability to cope.


Scientists have also found some evidence that emotional tears are chemically different from the ones people shed while chopping onions — which may help explain why crying sends such a strong emotional signal to others. In addition to the enzymes, lipids, metabolites, and electrolytes that make up any tears, emotional tears contain more protein.

One hypothesis is that this higher protein content makes emotional tears more viscous, sticky, lava-like so they stick to the skin more strongly and run down the face more slowly, making them more likely to be seen by others.


Tears also show others that we’re vulnerable, and vulnerability is critical to human connection.


The same neuronal areas of the brain are activated by seeing someone emotionally aroused as being emotionally aroused yourself.


There must have been some point in time, evolutionarily, when the tear became something that automatically turned on empathy and compassion in another. Actually being able to cry emotionally, and being able to respond to that, is a very important part of being human.And now for the less lovable cry-talk. Crying as a useful tool in manipulating others.


We learn early on (damn you babies) that crying has this really powerful effect on other people. It can neutralize anger quite powerfully, part of the reason tears are so integral to fights between lovers — particularly when someone feels guilty and wants the other We learn.

Another hypotesis is that tears might be reducing aggression. Men’s tears may well have the same effect. He and his group are currently wading through the 160-plus molecules in tears to see if there’s one responsible.
Virtually no evidence exists that crying comes with any positive effects on health.I’m sorry to tell you this.


Yet the myth persists that it’s an emotional and physical detox, like it’s some kind of workout for your body, lol.


One analysis looked at articles about crying in the media — 140 years’ worth — and found that 94% described it as good for the mind and body and said holding back tears would result in the opposite. But. That ’s kind of a modern fairy-tale. There’s not really any research to support that other than you could feel better after a good cry.

Speaking of which…
Also overblown is the idea that crying is always followed by relief. There ’s an expectation that we feel better after we cry. But the work that’s been done on this indicates that, if anything, we don’t feel good after we cry.

And now for the less lovable cry-talk. Crying as a useful tool in manipulating others.


We learn early on (damn you babies) that crying has this really on other people. It can neutralize anger quite powerfully, which is part of the reason tears are so integral to fights between lovers — particularly when someone feels guilty and wants the other person ’s forgiveness. Another hypothesis is that tears might be reducing aggression. Men’s tears may well have the same effect. He and his group are currently wading through the 160-plus molecules in tears to see if there’s one responsible.


Virtually no evidence exists that crying comes with any positive effects on health.I’m sorry to tell you this.


Yet the myth persists that it’s an emotional and physical detox, like it’s some kind of workout for your body, lol.


One analysis looked at articles about crying in the media — 140 years’ worth — and found that 94% described it as good for the mind and body and said holding back tears would result in the opposite. But. That ’s kind of a modern fairy-tale. There’s not really any research to support that other than you could feel better after a good cry.

Speaking of which…
Also overblown is the idea that crying is always followed by relief. There’s an expectation that we feel better after we cry. But the work that’s been done on this indicates that, if anything, we don’t feel good after we cry.

How come, you might say?


When researchers show people a sad movie in a laboratory and then measure their mood immediately afterward, those who cry are in worse moods than those who don’t.


But other evidence does back the notion of the so-called good cry that leads to catharsis. One of the most important factors, it seems, is giving the positive effects of crying — the release — enough time to sink in. When researchers showed a tearjerker and measured focus teams’ mood 90 minutes later instead of right after the movie, people who had cried were in a better mood than they had been before the film. Once the benefits of crying set in, he explains, it can be an effective way to recover from a strong bout of emotion.

Modern crying research is still in its infancy, but the mysteries of tears—and the recent evidence that they’re far more important than scientists once believed—drive tear researchers to keep at it strongly.

Tears are of extreme relevance for human nature. We cry because we need other people. So Darwin, for this one, you are heavily wrong, dude.

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