Want to hear something amazing about crying?

Emotional tears have higher protein concentration than irritant tears, which makes them fall down your cheeks more slowly—increasing the chance they’ll be seen and solicit care.

In literal ways, your body is built for community.


long-ish (2000+ chars) post with references about the differences between tears. 

@rysiek I was hoping to find a more reliable source for this, rather than a Twitter post, even though it sounded very plausible, and this was what I could come up with:

«In 1662, Danish scientist Niels Stensen discovered that tears originate in the lacrimal gland. We have three distinct types of tears: basal tears, reflex tears and emotional tears. Most researchers believe that emotional tears—triggered by strong feelings such as joy and sadness—are unique to humans. While there is a lot of crying research currently underway, we know that emotional tears are influenced by biological, psychological, and social factors.»
«While we know that all tears contain enzymes, lipids, metabolites and electrolytes, we have more to learn about the chemistry of emotional tears. Some scientists have proposed that these tears contain additional proteins and hormones not found in basal or reflex tears. Higher levels of prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormone, Leu-enkephalin, potassium and manganese have all been located in emotional tears. Some researchers have hypothesized that the release of stress hormones like leu-enkephalin may help regulate the body or bring it back to a homeostatic level. However, these preliminary findings still need further scientific replication.»

While this article mentions the higher levels of certain hormones, it didn't mention it would cause them to fall slower unfortunately.
I couldn't quickly find an actual research paper that referenced this aspect, but I did find an article from The Guardian that mentioned it:

«Not all tears are alike. The human body produces three kinds: basal, which form an oily layer over the eyeball to keep it from drying out; reflex, which appear when an eye is bothered by cutting onions or a speck of dust and needs to flush the irritant away; and psychogenic, which are shed for emotional reasons. Notably, emotional tears have a higher protein level than basal and reflex tears, which makes them thicker and causes them to fall more slowly.»

long-ish (2000+ chars) post with references about the differences between tears. 

@FiXato @rysiek is this the paper you're looking for? :)


(basically, the smell of emotional tears causes a reduction in testosterone levels where tears of pain do not)

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