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Why do we cry?

Why is it that when we feel the emotion sadness, a physical response is caused whereby tears come out of our eyes? Is it an evolutionary development? Why an excretion of liquid from your eyes when you feel sad?
Michelle Cree from Derbyshire (Age: 35-44)

Why do we cry?
Minet junior school from Greater London (Age 5-14)

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One Response

  1. Why do we cry? This is actually a very difficult question and one scientists don’t really know the answer to.

    However, what we do know is that there are several types of crying:

    1) Basal tears – these clean and lubricate the eye, making vision possible and keeping your eyes moist.

    2) Reflex tears – these clear the eye of irritants produced by, say, onion-slicing.

    3) Psychic or emotional tears – these are the ones we shed we are upset. We don’t really know why we do this – but it is believed to be unique to humans.

    One theory why we shed emotional tears is that they carry certain hormones and other proteins—produced during periods of stress— out of the body, which may explain why you feel better after “a good cry.” However tears only remove a very small amount of these hormones and proteins so its not believed to really help. Another theory is that we cry to let other people clearly know we are upset. Crying alerts other people to your distress and may be a good way of getting people to help you solve your problems. A very good thing – especially if you are in danger!

    Jenny Beard – the BA

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