Let’s get one thing clear. I don’t know enough about science to be a science nerd. I’m a science nerd wannabe.
Since I was a young adult, there have been certain things about our bodies that I’ve been inordinately curious about. This is all totally G rated here. Not to worry.
For example, I know that when we inhale deeply, we get more oxygen. The assumption is that at that moment, we need more oxygen. And when we yawn, we inhale a lot more oxygen, but then seem to expel a lot of oxygen, too. Okay, so our bodies are still playing around with oxygen.
Burping is about releasing gas. Hiccoughs (which I always thought was the “correct” way to spell it but it seems that hiccup is not a bastardization of the word, just the US usage, according to the Oxford Dictionary. While I’m sure that on the other side of the pond they will say that it is a bastardization. See I’m a language nerd.) are spasms in the respiratory and stomach something area caused by something. My mother would have said caused by eating too fast and/or shoveling too much food in my mouth.
My point is, all of these things have a biological reason.
But what about laughter? I’ve asked a couple of doctors about this and they haven’t been able to tell me. I have two cousins who are doctors and I haven’t asked them, come to think of it. I’ll do that when I finish this. I know why we laugh. We laugh if we think something is funny, if we are being malicious and are laughing at someone or we are nervous. Those are the ones I can think of off the top of my head.
But what is the physical reason? It seems that everything we do, every move we make, I’ll be watching you. Oops! Music interference there. But every physical movement we make serves a purpose.
Does laughter have to do with oxygen/respiratory systems? Is it neurons in the brain? I don’t know what neurons in the brain do, so I just threw that one out there. There must be a physical reason.
Try laughing right now and feel what is happening physically. I just tried it. Larynx, I think. No wait, lungs. My fat around my stomach moves. Gross.
What’s the purpose of laughter?