Hug Facts
Hug Facts

20 Cuddly Hugs Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published September 17, 2022
  • When a Dutch national television program broadcast footage of an aging chimpanzee embracing a scientist who regularly cared for her, many viewers wrote to say they had been moved to tears.[4]
  • Chimpanzees in zoos have been observed embracing each other as they enjoy their first spring day outside.[4]
  • Before retiring in 2018, Arizona restaurant owner Randy Walters advertised "free hugs," on a sign posted outside his restaurants.[10]
  • After the tragedy of September 11, 2001, cyclist David Hale Sylvester began going on bicycling-and-hugging tours all over the world and has staged multiple "hug parties" on three different continents. As of 2021, he had hugged over half a million people.[9]
  • Humans hug to express a variety of emotions, including happiness, sadness, excitement, or a desire to comfort.[3]
  • Scientists say that hugging can help reduce stress.[3]
  • Research has shown that hugging and hand-holding with a romantic partner can have positive effects on a person's heart health.[3]
  • Hug Benefits
    Hugging is beneficial on a chemical level
  • Because a person's levels of oxytocin rise when they hug, scientists sometimes refer to it as the "cuddle hormone."[3]
  • Scientists have found that hugging a teddy bear can reduce a person's fears and anxieties about their own mortality.[3]
  • One family therapist has said, "We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth."[3]
  • Asia, America, Canada, Britain, Australia, and New Zealand are all known as low-contact cultures, meaning that hugging and other forms of touching are not as expected during social interaction as they are in other places, such as Latin America and the Mediterranean.[6]
  • When receiving hugs from others, British people feel more uncomfortable than do people from France, Italy, Russia, and Finland, who were the most comfortable with it.[8]
  • Affectionate touching, such as hugging, is often seen between men in Arabic countries, although it is frowned upon between non-familial members of the opposite sex.[6]
  • A study co-authored by researchers at Oxford University found that men are much more uncomfortable with hugging than are women.[8]
  • The study of touching, including hugging, as a form of nonverbal communication is called "haptics."[6]
  • After being brought together following a complicated and premature delivery, a set of identical twins in Australia were photographed hugging each other.[1]
  • Twins Hugging

  • Identical twins who were sharing the same amniotic sac were able to avoid death by hugging each other. Their close contact prevented the umbilical cord from twisting around their bodies.[7]
  • In many parts of Asia, including China and Vietnam, hugging is not very common, even between parents and their children.[6]
  • Although many critics voiced their suspicion that Queen Elizabeth of England was upset when then-First Lady Michelle Obama gave her a hug, one of her biographers said the Queen felt just the opposite; she was even glad to show Obama affection in return.[5]
  • When his previous owners paid him a visit a year after he was released back into the wild, an adult lion was caught on film jumping up on the men to give them each a hug.[2]
  • Cute Hugging INFOGRAPHIC
    Hugs Infographic Thumbnail

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