« Home 

Monday, August 15, 2005 Bookmark Now! | Email to a friend  


Why is it impossible to sneeze with your eyes open?

The received wisdom states that if you don't blink when you sneeze, your eyes will fly out of your head. Thankfully, as is often the case with urban legends, this theory is a load of hooey. Your eyeballs are safe and sound in their sockets. For a funny pictorial representation of this hypothetical scenario, check out this urban myth page from MTV.
In reality, a sneeze is simply an involuntary nervous response to nasal irritation. According to this nifty science blog entry, the sneeze impulse affects a variety of body parts, including the abdomen, chest, neck, and face. During a sneeze, the impulses that travel through your face cause your eyelids to blink. This response is entirely automatic. There's nothing you can do about it. Sneezing puts a lot of pressure on your head and respiratory system, so blinking is probably a protective mechanism.

The point is that all of these responses (the abdominal contraction, the sharp burst of air out of your lungs, the general lunging movement) are intertwined. When you sneeze, you can't do one without the other.

Add to: Oneview Add to: Folkd Add to: Yigg Add to: Linkarena Add to: Digg Add to: Del.icio.us Add to: Reddit Add to: Simpy Add to: StumbleUpon Add to: Slashdot Add to: Netscape Add to: Furl Add to: Yahoo Add to: Spurl Add to: Google Add to: Blinklist Add to: Blogmarks Add to: Technorati Add to: Newsvine Add to: Blinkbits Add to: Ma.Gnolia

Share on Facebook Read the whole Blog

Receive post updates by Email


Previous posts