Tears Facts
Tears Facts

38 Sad Tears Facts

James Israelsen
By James Israelsen, Associate Writer
Published February 3, 2021
  • On average, a person’s eyes make 15 to 30 gallons of tears a year.[5]
  • Human eyes produce three different kinds of tears: basal tears, which care for the cornea; reflex tears, which guard against irritants; and emotional tears.[5]
  • Some scientists hypothesize that the tears we cry when we are feeling strong emotions contain hormones and proteins that aren’t present in tears that protect the eyes.[5]
  • Human tears are covered by an oily outer layer that keeps the tear smooth enough to see through.[5]
  • Tears are created by the lacrimal glands above each eye and are dispersed across the eye’s surface by blinking.[5]
  • Tears are drained by holes in the corners of the eyelids; from there, they are funneled into the nose and either evaporate or are reabsorbed.[5]
  • Some babies are born with blocked tear ducts, preventing their tears from draining into their nose.[5]
  • Onion Tears
    This is one way to deal with it
  • Chopping onions causes tears because it releases syn-Propanethial S-oxide, an irritant that affects the lacrimal gland.[7]
  • Dry eye, a condition in which the eyes don’t produce the tears necessary for keeping the cornea nourished, can occur with hormonal changes such as menopause or as a symptom of aging.[5]
  • Although many animals shed tears, emotional tears—tears produced as the result of feeling—are a uniquely human phenomenon.[7]
  • Tears are made of proteins, salt, and hormones.[7]
  • Although different studies report varying numbers, they all agree that women cry at least twice as much—and probably more—than men.[7]
  • The biochemical composition of tears is close to that of saliva.[7]
  • The tears of humanity...with which the Earth is soaked from crust to core.

    - Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  • When a woman cries, it lasts, on average, for six minutes. A man’s crying session, on the other hand, only lasts around four minutes.[7]
  • In 6% of cases, a man’s crying will become sobbing—compared to 65% of the time for women.[7]
  • Women who live in Western societies, where they have equality and greater freedom, cry far more often than women whose lives are regulated by traditional cultural norms.[7]
  • Men’s tear ducts are larger than women’s, meaning that when men cry, their tears are less likely to spill down their faces.[7]
  • The reason crying can cause your nose to run is that some of your tears are funneled down into your nasal passages and run out from there.[7]
  • The scent of a woman's tears can reduce sexual arousal in men.[7]
  • People who suffer from certain forms of clinical depression no longer experience the urge to cry, due to a deep-seated belief that nothing can alleviate their suffering.[4]
  • Despair Crying
    Severe depression can make crying seem pointless

  • Some scientists believe that emotional tears contain stress hormones, so crying makes a person feel better by purging some of the negative stress.[7]
  • Happy tears are probably not very different from sad ones; the important thing, according to researchers, is that they allow you to return to a state of equilibrium.[7]
  • Emotional crying can have positive benefits, unless it takes place under circumstances in which the crier feels overly vulnerable or exposed.[7]
  • Growers have recently developed the Sunion, an onion crossbreed that doesn't cause tears when it is being cut up.[1]
  • Pathological laughter and crying (PLC) is a condition in which a person can start laughing or shedding tears without an appropriate stimulus for either reaction.[3]
  • The year 2011 was dubbed "The Year of Tear Gas," as sales and use of tear gas were at record highs that year in response to various worldwide protests and political movements.[2]
  • Despite studies showing that tear gas can cause miscarriages, brain damage, and respiratory problems, it remains the most popular riot-control tool worldwide.[2]
  • In one of the Psalms in the Old Testament, the Psalmist says that his tears "have been [his] food day and night."[4]
  • Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before—more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.

    - Charles Dickens

  • The forced relocation by the US government of 125,000 Native Americans to a new territory hundreds of miles away has come to be known as the Trail of Tears, due to the looting, starvation, deaths, and loss of property and land that were the result.[8]
  • Bali is the only country that has been observed to have tearless funerals; in Bali, funerals are held two years after the person has died.[4]
  • Despite occasional reports to the contrary, scientists have never been able to confirm a case of emotional crying in any animal other than humans.[4]
  • People sometimes shed tears when they yawn because yawning places momentary tension on the eye's glands, causing liquid on the eyes to be unable to drain through the tear ducts and to spill out of our eyes instead.[6]
  • Crocodile Tears
    A show of grief or appreciation for a good meal?
  • The phrase "crocodile tears" means that a person is faking their sadness; it comes from a tale about crocodiles who killed a group of men and then cried while feasting on them.[9]
  • Scientists have been able to prove that crocodiles really do sometimes shed tears when eating, although no one is sure why.[9]
  • The Ras Shamra Texts, dating from the 14th century BCE, contain the earliest written reference to tears currently known.[4]
  • Many writings from the Roman Empire link tears to romantic pleasure, on the belief that crying made the beloved more desirable to their lover.[4]
  • Theologian Thomas Aquinas stated that crying brings relief because it is pleasurable to shed tears.[4]
  • According to Roman mythology, dewdrops are the tears of the goddess Aurora, who weeps every morning over the death of her son.[4]
  • Interesting Tears INFOGRAPHIC
    Tears Infographic Thumbnail

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