What Makes A Joke Funny, Does Laughter Help You Lose Weight: 5 Laugh Facts You Want To Know

Did you know chimpanzees laugh all the time?

Adam Piore Published Nov 26, 2020 17:14:33 IST
What Makes A Joke Funny, Does Laughter Help You Lose Weight: 5 Laugh Facts You Want To Know Photo: needpix.com

Laughter has surprisingly little to do with jokes and humour

Most laughter does not come from listening to funny stories. Robert Provine, a neuroscientist from the University of Maryland, found that we’re 30 times more likely to laugh at something when we are talking to our friends, even if what they’re saying isn’t really funny. In this instance, laughter helps communicate to our conversational partners that we like and empathize with them. In other cases, we may use laughter to disguise our nervousness or to ease tension.

It’s not just the humour that makes a joke funny

People find jokes funnier when they are told by someone they know, especially if they consider that person funny. A clever cartoon, explains Bob Mankoff, the humour and cartoon editor at Esquire, seems even funnier “if there are also other variables we like, like the drawing is good, or the comedian is one we admire, or a person we don’t like is being put down.”

It will not help you lose weight (sorry)

While laughter has been shown to improve your health in many ways, it does not burn more calories than going for a run, sadly. Although laughing does raise a person’s energy expenditure and heart rate by about 10 to 20 percent, you would have to laugh solidly for up to three hours to burn off a bag of potato chips.

Humans aren’t the only ones who do it

Researchers in England who spent several months with captive chimpanzee colonies found that the primates laughed all the time. Usually, the laughter came from spontaneous reactions to physical contact, such as wrestling, chasing, tickling, or just being surprised. Others have found evidence that rats laugh in a high-pitched, ultrasonic kind of way—though rat pups laugh far more often than the adults.

It’s a universal language

Laughter sounds basically the same in every culture, leading some researchers to believe that laughter somehow connected our human ancestors wherever they encountered each other. In fact, according to the University of Kentucky, the sound of laughter is so common and familiar that it can be recognized if played backward.

Also read: Laugh Yourself Better

Also read: How To Be Funnier

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