Why do people cry?

-- asks David from Internetland

[CREDIT: Jillian Balfour]
By | Posted October 23, 2006
Posted in: Ever Wondered?, Life Science
Tags: , ,

You’re watching the final scene in Thelma and Louise, and you’re on your third handkerchief. You turn your tear stained face to the side and look through blurred, saline-flooded vision at your cat, who is staring back at you witnessing the curious spectacle. Why is it that humans can be reduced to blubbering messes, while other members of the animal kingdom don’t seem to let out even a sniffle?

We have tear ducts to lubricate and protect our eyes from dust and other particles. The ducts are under the upper eyelids and produce a salty liquid—a tear-–-that gets spread throughout the eye after each blink. Animals too have the ability to produce tears, but not necessarily for the same reasons that we humans produce them.

Three types of tears are generated by the human eye. Basal tears protect the eye and keep it moist. Reflex tears flush out the eye when it becomes irritated. And emotional tears flow in response to sadness, distress, or physical pain.

Studies have shown that emotional tears contain more manganese, an element that affects temperament, and more prolactin, a hormone that regulates milk production. Sobbing out manganese and prolactin is thought to relieve tension by balancing the body’s stress levels and eliminating build ups of the chemicals, making the crier feel better.

But this minor physiological benefit aside, the most likely reason we produce emotional tears is because it’s a means of communication. Before babies can speak, they can cry. The only way for infants to express frustration, pain, fear, or need is to cry. Adults may use crying to bond with other humans. Expressing sadness can prompt comfort and support from peers. Different languages can provide barriers to spoken communication, but emotions are universal. There are also culturally acceptable reasons for crying that bring people together, such as at funerals or weddings.

Though there is a significant debate over whether animals have emotions and can express them, some animals do appear to cry for emotional reasons. Elephants seem to grieve when a family member dies and will guard the body and travel long distances to view it. Elephant experts at the London Zoo once told Charles Darwin that the animals do indeed mourn. Chimpanzees also appear to cry, but some scientists still insist that the tears released by these animals are strictly for cleaning the eye.

Whether or not animals shed tears for emotional reasons has yet to be scientifically proven. Humans, however, can and do dissolve into tears for any number of reasons. Cleansing the eye, relieving stress, conveying pain, communication, and societal assimilation can all lead to an empty tissue box. So weeping after that sappy movie might not mean that you are a total wuss after all. In fact, it may mean that you are behaving like a perfectly normal human being.


Got a question for us? ASK!

Related Posts


All comments are moderated, your comment will not appear on the site until it has been approved.

  1. This was a very interesting and insightful article. Very well written. It was educational as well as entertaining. I will be certain to forward this to my friends and colleagues.

    Taisha J. Hayes, October 24, 2006 at 1:16 pm
  2. Interesting article!

    Sarah Riger, October 24, 2006 at 1:20 pm
  3. Excellent article. it answers many of the questions I’ve always had. Thank you.

    Mdintenfass, October 24, 2006 at 1:47 pm
  4. Very insightful. I always thought I felt better after a “good cry” and now I know why!

    Ellen Renaud, October 24, 2006 at 1:58 pm
  5. Great article! Very interesting! I want to see more from this writer!

    gilliand, October 24, 2006 at 3:51 pm
  6. Very insightful and enjoyable read….are there other places this author can be found?

    Clare Norwe, October 24, 2006 at 11:52 pm
  7. i like this.

    lovevikki, November 3, 2006 at 2:12 pm
  8. This article brought tears to my eyes… tears of joy that is… because it is so true. Bravo, more from this talented author is a must.

    David Aames, November 14, 2006 at 7:57 pm
  9. The article is good, but one also may cry because of extreme joy or excitement! I do believe that crying has to have a rational basis (but many therapists disagree with that).
    Crying is a response to a trigger and becomes irrational without it, just like laughter and anger are …
    A lot of women (and some men) nowadays tend to cry for no visible reason, and when asked why they cry they will often say things like: “I dunno, I cry because it makes me feel better” and when you ask: “feel better about what?” they will respond with: “I don’t know”. It appears to me that many women, and some men have lost their senses and cry for cying sake … what a bunch of cry babies …. don’t cry now you hear lol

    Maurice Harting, November 22, 2006 at 2:26 am
  10. OKay, but wait, I dont get one thing now adays. Some people that I know are not simply cry babies but, they cry for a little reason and can seem to stop crying, its like their drowning in depression. And they feel guilty for OTHER peoples problems.

    SixFeetUnder, November 23, 2006 at 5:30 am
  11. xcellent.. I got a very convincing answer.

    Nithya, February 2, 2007 at 5:39 am
  12. Okay, the author covered that you cry for joyful reasons too (ref.There are also culturally acceptable reasons for crying that bring people together, such as at funerals or WEDDINGS.)As for not knowing the reason why some women and men cry is from build up of emotions that they didn’t release over years, and like the author said, stress. I’d say the majority of people don’t like to cry infront of people so when they’re around people and they want to cry and they don’t it builds up and keeps building up until they breakdown. Quote: “breaking down to tears”. This article made me feel like it’s okay to cry, it gave me the reason why I cry and why i feel better after crying. Thank you so much for this article.


    Amanda, April 7, 2007 at 9:35 pm
  13. I’m doing a science project and found this article. Thanks, it really helped me out! I got a bit of really interesting information. I hope it makes my presentation really great! Now I understand that crying actually has a reason. :*-D


    Aubrey, April 11, 2007 at 4:26 pm
  14. i was actually searching what makes people upset and make them shed tears, and i found this article, interesting one, well done, and simple and the best one… cleared too many doubts i had..

    Jagadish Pandian, April 13, 2007 at 10:01 am
  15. What does it mean if you feel like crying and possibly want to cry, but the tears don’t come out?

    Edigaru, April 15, 2007 at 8:15 pm
  16. as for the question above, i think it has to do with the level of emotions. if you feel like crying, but the emotions aren’t strong enough, i think they don’t come out. that’s just my personal opinion.

    as for the article, its fantastic. i have always wondered why people cry and now i have the answer.

    thank you =]

    maggie, April 15, 2007 at 10:15 pm
  17. From my perspective it was great reading about the different types of tears. it was therefore beneficial to me and may be of interest to others that may come about this article.once again, well done.it is there also that people do read these articles

    Christopher Rodriques, June 2, 2007 at 5:36 pm
  18. Ur article rocks…..Its a wonderful piece written and balanced perfectly….Thanks

    Paashu, June 26, 2007 at 5:00 am
  19. you absolute loosers.

    Amber, July 1, 2007 at 5:26 am
  20. I had read a few years ago that tears were analyzed for their chemical components and it was discovered that chemeicals related to stress and other negative states of wellbeing were found to be shed in the tear, so the tear was actually part of a cleansing process, which I have no problem believing just knowing what I feel when I cry.

    There was a time when I stopped crying for a few years, and believe me, not only was I in a horrible state of mind, but my body felt badly too, kind of achey and yet there seemed to be some kind of disconnectedness. It was bad. Later, when I had healed a bit from my emotional trauma, I could cry again and the acheyness stopped and I felt all around better.

    I have no doubt that tears are used for communication purposes, but that doesn’t tell us what is going on when a person is crying alone or secretively. No, I believe tears are much more than what this article says they are – it’s too bad that the authors don’t leave the door open to other meanings and interpretations.

    Xtina, August 23, 2007 at 10:19 pm
  21. I’m a perfectly healthy being I cry all the time, THIS ARTICLE IS SO GOOD I COULD CRY.

    Chris, August 31, 2007 at 10:32 am
  22. ok well it covered the reason why people cry but it did not cover why people cry for no reason or very little reason. People who cry for no reason or very little reason have a emotional disorder and should talk to their doctor, they could have a severe hormonal inbalance. So anyone that knows some one who crys all the time for no reason or very little reason should tell them to go see their doctor and figure things out.

    Amanda, September 18, 2007 at 8:27 am
  23. huh

    ruby, October 18, 2007 at 4:33 pm
  24. Amber is very rude i luv u aubery we both are on the same page

    Lennny roger, October 30, 2007 at 11:37 pm
  25. The article tells us why we cry, but not how we cry, i.e, what the Brain does in reaction of aan action of emotion or sadness. I wanted to know this. I know why i cry, im sad or other, but why do we cry.


    Itching is coursed by irritation from fibres and creats a sence if pain to the brain, which in turn makes the itch feel to you.

    So i ask again, why do we cry ?

    Ray, November 2, 2007 at 11:09 am
  26. I too would like to know ‘why’- what turns the ‘for no or little reason’ tears on? Amanda says it is an emotional problem – maybe there is a check list for possible ‘disorders’, besides depression. Maybe some insight would be helpful in controlling the ‘no or little reason’ tears – which can be embarassing..

    Anne, November 27, 2007 at 10:05 am
  27. i find that things can trigger tears in me when I dont want to cry or feel like crying. The memory of something that was stressful years ago can trigger tears but i really dont want to cry. Sometimes at work, I find that if we have to discuss something, it makes me tearful. Intellectually I don’t particularly care, but it’s like some people may sweat in certain circumstances, but I cry. It’s really embarrassing as I don’t want to cry. It puts people off meetings with me as they are frightened i will cry. Why does this happen? what can i do to control it? can i change my diet, would that help?

    Judy, December 12, 2007 at 5:41 am
  28. I thought this article was very interesting, and it helped with my french project very much!

    Cassie, January 9, 2008 at 8:33 am
  29. I’m trying to find out why my breathing rate is interrupted when I cry, or becomes sort of a pulse of sorts when exhaling — or inhaling for that matter (if that makes sense — somewhat like laughing), and things like that. I wonder if perhaps that’s left over from babyhood when noisy crying may be needed to get somebody’s attention. Or maybe it’s an inadvertent effort to avoid crying. I don’t know, just hoping to find out one day.

    Minty, February 16, 2008 at 10:01 am
  30. nice article.. i havent cried in 3 years!

    Greetings From Australia

    Grimsheep, April 13, 2008 at 10:33 am
  31. boring

    rajah cotton, April 17, 2008 at 1:26 pm
  32. phew! im 12, and for some reason i cry when i feel very little pain, even if it doesn’t hurt me that much. it’s one of my darkest secrets, and personally i HATE it! at least i know im not a wuss i guess

    jerry, June 22, 2008 at 11:52 pm
  33. when i am sad, i cry and it relaxes me,but when i cry for a long time while feeling sad, it doesnt relaxes but gives a pain to my eyes and the pain remains unless i sleep again (seems sleep rejuvenates my eyes :))and why does it happen that sometime we also make noises or even scream while crying? a lot of people do this, i wonder why? and again, sometimes it happens that we feel pain and we want to cry, cry a lot, but the tears dont come. Why does it happen? where do the tears go then?

    Pooja, June 30, 2008 at 1:16 pm
  34. My Dad is 78. He cried a few times when I was a kid but was and alpha male personality. He crys over bad and joyful memories at anytime or anywhere. He stops crying when you focus your attention on him. Is he lonely and crying to get attention? He is vocal. When I cry it is in private and quite and I always feel ten times better. Back to my Dad I have noticed that he laughs at the wrong time and he only thinks of himself. He never asks about anyone else and always thinks of himself and is trying to sort through things before, mostly.

    carl, July 23, 2008 at 8:24 pm
  35. this article was excellent!!! i am 12 and i just wanted to know why people cry. this website link surely did the job of giving excellent information and facts!!

    antonnia, July 25, 2008 at 5:23 pm
  36. yep … i like the article especially the last sentence.very relieving. but i need to know why ppl cry when they r happy. anyway keep up the good job. though irrelevent here i my dog cry at night. he behaves like human. makes us believe its a human. he go where our sound is. cry at night. takes any amount of food. not much of barking,friendly with the strangers. all look strange.by the way thanks for the good work

    memyself, August 15, 2008 at 2:01 pm
  37. plz elaborate more about ppl who use tears to convince others and get attention

    sai, August 20, 2008 at 6:19 am
  38. I’ve always been curious about tears…one thing I’ve always wondered about…why do some people’s eyebrows slant with the inner tips rising upward at the bridge of their nose toward the middle of their forehead when they cry while others’ brows do not? It’s an interesting phenominon I’ve seen and have always wondered about. Anyone know by chance or can anyone point me to a site that answers this eyebrow phenominon?

    CNJ, August 30, 2008 at 3:43 pm
  39. it sucked and I have never cried in my life. It’s all a load of balls and I never wantto see it again!

    Charlotte T, October 1, 2008 at 4:09 am
  40. Charlotte T? You Suck ! I Am Crying Whilst Reading This !

    Bob Dillan, October 8, 2008 at 3:59 am
  41. wel i totally disagree
    i think you are a complete and utter WUSS
    you should get a grip or reality
    this site, as i said, is a load of balls
    and everything else shitty
    you should just get back into your hole
    and suck on cheese
    love from Charlotte Thorpe

    Charlotte T, October 8, 2008 at 4:04 am
  42. wel i totally disagree
    i think you are a complete and utter WUSS
    you should get a grip or reality
    this site, as i said, is a load of balls
    and everything else shitty
    you should just get back into your hole
    and suck on cheese
    love from Charlotte Thorpe x

    Charlotte T, October 8, 2008 at 4:04 am
  43. This is an abomination


    Sophhh, October 8, 2008 at 4:07 am
  44. abomination my arse
    its diabolical
    just get lost the lot of u
    im through with this

    Emma Wankywomp, October 8, 2008 at 4:09 am
  45. I don’t think it really answers the question. We all know the literal reason why people cry, cause of there emotions but whyDoes your body react by, Flooding your face w/ blood (turniing it red) and causing tears, typically used for more practical things like cleaning the eyes, to come in large amounts.

    May, October 13, 2008 at 7:40 pm
  46. hallo,
    hier in deutchland es ist fantastisch
    ich bin sehr gross
    mein dick freunde ist wunderbar im das schlafzimmer
    danke und gut nacht :)

    schtefan, October 15, 2008 at 4:08 am
  47. bonjour
    je m’appelle greg
    j’adore la website
    c’est tres tres bien
    le people a francais are tres bien a la chambre, a le amoir.

    schtefanny, October 15, 2008 at 4:11 am
  48. an interesting article.why do some people roll down tears when they vomit?

    winnie, November 5, 2008 at 12:41 pm
  49. hmmmmm.
    that was terrible french.
    and completely irrelevant.
    crying is badass.

    mocha, November 6, 2008 at 1:16 am
  50. Thank you Emily Driscoll! In response to some of the comments.. I don’t think there is such thing as crying for no reason. Even if we can’t put a finger on why we are crying, it’s only because the subconscience is keeping this information from us, and this creates imbalance and stress, and requires a lot of energy. Kind of off-topic, but if you don’t know the reason you’re crying, start writing stream-of-consciousness and reread what you’ve written out loud. I’ve found the real reason behind my emotional tears so many times by doing this.

    Sophie, November 18, 2008 at 11:26 pm
  51. I heard somewhere though, that you cried our of fear frustration and anger, or from being overwhelmed, not really out of sadness?

    Jenny, November 28, 2008 at 8:22 pm
  52. oh, and pain.

    Jenny, November 28, 2008 at 8:23 pm
  53. I am a preacher and let me tell you, I am using this in my sermon on sunday night this is a great study of how and why humans cry

    quincy Hallum, November 30, 2008 at 1:45 am
  54. Usually when I meet a psychology major on campus, I ask them one question: Why do we cry?

    The answers vary to say the least. Most are dumbfounded by the question. It’s interesting to think of emotional tears as a means of communication like yelling out “Pay Attention To ME!”

    The more we understand ourselves and the more we neutralize our neuro-network, then perhaps we will dry up our emotional tears and get on with our lives. Who knows?

    p.s. Radioflyer was the first movie to make me cry as a kid. My sister’s was All Dogs Go To Heaven. It’s interesting the cultural moments that trigger our need for flushing out the system.

    Andrew, December 1, 2008 at 10:23 pm
  55. And speaking of vomit and tears from above. I became so upset once after breaking up with my girlfriend that I drove away from the house in tears. As I was crying and barely making myself along the straight road, I just up and puked out the window. Weird.

    during grief the body wants to cleanse itself.

    Andrew, December 1, 2008 at 10:27 pm
  56. excuse e moir
    mes francais ce super
    je mange une chocalate
    p.s vous all suck

    french ponce, December 3, 2008 at 4:25 am
  57. I agree with andrew, i believe that when u feel any emotional stress, ur body automatically tries to cleanse and rehabilitate itself. i mean who doesnt feel better after a warm shower? u know….like a self-comferting thing..

    Just Claudia, December 10, 2008 at 9:46 am
  58. this article was very well written. It was very imformational and it helped me a lot for an anatomy paper i had to write. :)

    Megan A. States, December 14, 2008 at 8:00 pm
  59. Animals definitely feel emotion, anyone who has had a pet should know that.

    Angie, December 15, 2008 at 4:30 pm
  60. Isn’t the word cries not crys.

    Wayne T Layman, December 24, 2008 at 2:31 am
  61. it is true that cries do release person from stress..but what is actually the mechanism occured in our eyes when we experienced some emotional situation and sometimes why do people tend to cry non-stop and how did the tears run out and where is the water comes from??any scientific explanation behind this, i really need to know..

    ojyou, December 28, 2008 at 1:28 pm
  62. wow. i cry a lot. i really i do. this artical was SO deep…. i couldn’t help but cry. i was just devastatedto find out that when you cry it has health benefits,,, especially becasue i’m the kind of person who HATES being healthy…. wow just writing this amazing comment is making me cry..

    lil_miss_geekiness, December 29, 2008 at 1:02 am
  63. \

    (the beauty of my tree made me cry!)

    lil_miss_geekiness, December 29, 2008 at 1:10 am
  64. i cry for only 2 reasons.
    1. i shit myself and lick windows.
    2. i shit myself and lick windows.

    i cant help it…. and nobody exept Larry the cow understands me. i feel so alone…. but then i go outside and larry is there waiting for me…
    one day he was so happy to see me that he tramples my face and broke my glasses…. but i know it was just an accident. LArry was the best thing to ever happen to me. I am crying just thinking about everything Larry has done for me…. in fact i think i’ll go lick a window in memory of this fine cow. (ps. it offends me when people say “bull shit” becasue larry was a bull until my master cut his testacles off and he became gay. so from now on please say “cow shit!” thank you!

    lil_miss_geekiness, December 29, 2008 at 1:19 am
  65. why people cry

    kimberly, January 13, 2009 at 6:40 am
  66. why the heart is stop

    kimberly, January 13, 2009 at 6:42 am
  67. OMD

    kool, January 15, 2009 at 6:54 pm
  68. Yep, sorrow & sadness do it for me. Total strangers on the tube (that I know are acting) get my best tears. Crying, in my opinion, is an emotion all to itself, not just a response to sadness or happiness. I’m often extremely sad and extremely happy, am I beyond shedding tears? When I cry I generally think God is showing himself, he has shown his grace through my tears ~ sadness will lift and be washed away. In return, I’ll work on eliminating the cause of the sorrow.

    Kat, January 16, 2009 at 12:52 pm
  69. I have been told that when a person cries the only reason is because that person is feeling sorry for themselves????? Please help me as I absolutly do not believe this.

    helpless, January 29, 2009 at 2:30 am
  70. I agree that this article, or whatever you want to call it, is well written/typed.

    My favorite part in the article was definitely the part about animals and their emotions. I read each and every comment word for word and my favorite comment is #64. :D

    I stumbled upon this article, because I was looking up a quote by Crying Wolf from Metal Gear Solid 4, because one of my friends from school told me that I looked like her, so one day I got curious and I looked her up on YouTube. A few lines that interested me (from which she said) were “Cry if you need to … I’ve cried myself dry, so cry as much as you like. I will be there to listen.”

    I pasted what she said into the Yahoo search bar and from all of that said, it’s obvious how this article was linked to what I was searching for. :P

    Btw, I know this is a long comment, but that French comment was seriously horrible. x] Also, I think I have great grammar for a 15 year old and half of these comments are so improper and misspelled. Thanks God for spell check, right? Lmao!


    Jamie, February 7, 2009 at 4:35 am
  71. But, why do people *cry*? If people are stressed and have an overload of those chemicals and hormones, why can’t they just release tears instead of sobbing and having all of the other physical actions that accompany crying?

    Tammy, February 21, 2009 at 3:03 pm
  72. Very, very good article. I have always wondered this.

    Haille, March 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm
  73. luv this article! i was searching for something to do my article (WSNR) in science class for and all of a sudden my sister started crying. i got interested and started googling it and found scienceline! (not a first time user)
    love ya all-_-

    lolstupid, March 10, 2009 at 6:59 pm
  74. I love this whole page! It made me laugh. I actually just got done crying cuz my girlfriend.
    :( so I was just curious to know why I cry! Although I know.

    And really I cry because I’m sad or hurt, sometimes very angry. I believe that crying is healthy but I also believe that it can be un healthy if you’re doing it for attention in a negative way to continue feeling sorry for yourself.

    Many times I cry when I really feel sadness and lonelyness deep in my stomach’s little soul. When my girlfriend and I fight I cry, because it’s very painful and it hurts. Or EVEN when she just sounds mean or insensitive in her voice!but because I am so sensitive…I also cry because of dissapointment, or when I feel my brothers and sisters pain.

    But I only cry when I feel it! If Its something I think about that I am sensitive to, I tear up. If I feel it, if my body feels my emotions… I just cry so hard and loud depending on what it is. It doesn’t ever feel good to cry, but atleast I know why I am. And I will admit whenever I feel lonely, I cry for myself.

    However, I cry hard but quiet when I feel lonely or sad for real personal reasons and I squeeze my pillow. But when I’m angry or upset because of a right then issue I cry loud and VERY hard, but where its still private. Its weird because when I’m crying because of a then issue its usually something I can get over! But honestly I think that the more intense cry is somewhat releasing those other feelings of real deep emotional feelings with my then issues.
    And of course I always feel better with a vent cry.

    But yes, CRY!!! Its good.

    I love my girlfriend she’s the best jerkiest tear jerker JERK EVER!and when I cry with her or because of her its because she is soley the most important person to me ever.

    But like the old wiseman said…

    Crying is like your bowels! If you don’t let the bad stuff out in someway, then you’re constipated with loads of little balls, waiting…….. And waiting………………..until “BOOM!” Your rectum EXPLODES!!!!

    Its just natural, so do it!

    alissa, March 17, 2009 at 5:18 am
  75. I was crying for no reason yesterday, decided to investigate….a friend of mine happened to be covering drug withdraw in school yesterday as well. I mentioned that I had been trying to quit pot – hadn’t smoked it since Sunday…she said that was one of the main symptoms of the withdraw – crying for no reason. Usually I have no appetite, don’t hardly eat for days, and cry…which gives me a reason – hunger. This time I have an appetite, but was crying anyways.
    It was quite annoying, really.

    Jen, April 10, 2009 at 9:07 am
  76. iam crying a lot here lately because of being sad because my dad yells at me when i am in truble.

    kaitlyn, April 15, 2009 at 7:08 pm
  77. This is a very great piece of information.
    It has helped me out alot with my Inquiry project.
    THANK YOU!!!!

    coolio, April 19, 2009 at 5:36 pm
  78. cool

    misoscms, April 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm
  79. Dats gr8!

    ilakit, April 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm
  80. So your saying black people can’t cry because their sad?

    Anonymous, May 5, 2009 at 3:00 pm
  81. Wow I havn’t cried in a while…maybe a few tears on the last day of school last week..my tears will turn into a river but I need to build a bridge and get the hell over it

    Kacyy, June 10, 2009 at 8:22 pm
  82. i love lil miss geeky
    Pandas are dying out mainly because of one main reason: habitat loss. Their main source
    of food is bamboo, which takes a long time to grow. This problem wasn’t present when
    pandas were spread throughout the massive south-east of Asia, including China. Hence,
    when a forest of bamboo was being consumed by them, they could simply move to an-
    other bamboo forest, but the supply grew harder to find or reach.


    rassiaan, June 18, 2009 at 9:56 am
  83. okay i just sat there and read the comments and half of u guys are sooo retarted!!!!

    first of all, if u hav a nasty comment, keep it to urself. nobody wants to hear it! tht was an amazing article and id like to c u do better…

    … which we all know u cant. im only 12 but i can tell u one thing, this author is awesome and he shuld keep writing becuz he just got me an A on my report

    kayla!!!, June 24, 2009 at 12:07 pm
  84. i rely liked tht article… it was rely educational :)

    kayla!!!, June 24, 2009 at 12:12 pm
  85. I agree with #83, what’s the point of leaving nasty comments, it’s pathetic.

    I thought this article was really informative, well written and easy to read. I myself cry quite alot and like many of you when i’m angry or frustrated, when i’ve had to bite my tongue when dealing with fools at work. I hate it because i feel it makes me look weak!

    But after reading this i don’t think i really care how it makes me look to people’s who’s opinions are too pointless to concern me. I’m pleased that’s it’s the realise of those troublesome chemicals, i always feel much better after a good cry once i’ve gotten over the embarrassment and this explains why.

    Nice to see so many supportive comments too :o)

    cat, July 31, 2009 at 2:57 pm
  86. wow. i’ve never thought much about why i cry or how it makes me feel better after but after reading this magnificent article, it realized that its okay to cry.

    the author is very intellectual. thank you for sharing the knowledge :)

    qwerty, August 15, 2009 at 3:00 am
  87. it will be nice if we analyse crying vs laughing.

    G.Sreekumar, September 4, 2009 at 1:29 am
  88. Thanks for solving a teatime discussion!

    Matt, September 17, 2009 at 1:06 pm
  89. ahahahahahaha what a joke. dude, animals cry, just because they don’t have tears when they cry means nothing. kittens cry as babies, my dog cries whimpers and howls when lonely. What is this nonsense about animals not feeling. ahahahahaahah what ignorant sob wrote this.

    David, November 15, 2009 at 10:15 am
  90. init reet
    listen k
    cryin iz for fkin ponces
    if ur ard like us then
    u got nwt to worry about
    what is going on here
    all this chit chat nonsence
    i love you all no need to cry

    Charlotte Thorpe, December 15, 2009 at 9:47 am
  91. I thought it was a good article, i was searching about weather its only humans that cry and found this an interesting read.

    I can’t understand the mentality of some people on here though, obviously “Charlotte Thorpe” has some issues, she or he was obviously looking about crying too, to then dismiss what he/she found because of their background maybe your daddy beat you or something more synster.

    but i get the Jist of what is being said on the article, we cry to compensate for the over use of chemicals in our body to release them, thus releaving the “sorrow, pity,stress, anger and laughter (we’ve all found something redicoulsly funny, and have ended up crying while laughing) i’m guessing too much of an emoitional chemical in the body which is released can be a bad thing, so it expells it quickly and easily through the tear ducts, bringing the levels back to a sustainable level, i mean it wouldn’t be fun to live if every emotion you felt was rocketed out of you via your bladder or some other unholy place.

    we are a species that relies heavily on our emotions, so a natural way of removing too much chemicals released would be the obvious quickest way.

    So i suppose people who cry for no reason have less tollerance to the chemcals so the body dispells them sooner than an average person

    Unknown 17, January 29, 2010 at 9:30 pm
  92. I’m a 50 year old male that cries nearly every day now. At least half the time it’s not about me. I cry alot thinking about things in my internet friends’ lives. And I’ve never even had any contact with them off the internet. And I cry for animals. It’s always in private, and I can straighten up fast if I need to attend to something. Lately I have been crying more often for myself as the economy worsens and a return to a better life seems increasingly hopeless. I went years without crying when I was younger, and I cried at appropriate times in other years when I was younger. But it seems I can trace the daily crying back to the time I successfully quit smoking cigarettes 7 years ago. I don’t know if that might indicate some chemical imbalance, or the nicotine steeled my nerves, or if the cigarette habit provided me a distraction.

    Buddy, February 21, 2010 at 9:06 pm
  93. Great Article, answers all my questions.

    Robin Solanki, February 23, 2010 at 2:06 pm
  94. This helped me a TON with my Enlgish essay(: Thnx A LOT!! :) Really appreciate it =D

    bellers, March 3, 2010 at 12:16 am
  95. 94th!!!!!!

    WOOHOO, March 7, 2010 at 9:30 pm
  96. Good article,then which part of the brain is responsible for crying?why some people cry when they are happy?

    HLONIPHO, March 16, 2010 at 4:55 am
  97. Does anyone know how often humans cry?

    Beverly, March 31, 2010 at 6:00 am
  98. That Article helped me and answers all of MY questions.

    Andrew, April 8, 2010 at 7:56 pm
  99. Thank you for the article. I was revising biology when I realised this question wasn’t answered. The article was beautifully written and wonderfully unbiased.

    I also have a few comments about the comments.

    1) Many of you should take more care when spelling. Words such as ‘should’ and ‘cried’ are words even my little brother could spell without a problem. If you are unsure of a word, type it into the Google search bar, it should come up with the correct spelling.

    2) If you disagree with this article, discuss it like adults. This means no harassment, calmly putting your point across and then backing it up with some research.

    Some of the questions raised were very interesing ones. I will be sure look further into it.

    Chaotic_Flowers, April 10, 2010 at 5:58 am
  100. I am 32 man, not gay, I get teased after work for stupid shit and I don’t know how to deal with it. If it didn’t bother me, they would stop teasing. But it does bother me, so now I am in tears on my drive home because I am upset. Now I want to quit because I shouldn’t have to feel this way. Pisses me off that I am tearing up but no one see me tear up, I do it in private. I think there is something wrong with me and I shouldn’t be so emotional. How can I stop? I also cry if their is something sad in a movie. Might be something to that to much hormones because I do build muscle fast from working out and my brother is about the same. I have seen him tear up in a movie too. He is a Officer Pilot in the AF and he got drug tested. They thought he might be using steroids because of high testosterone. I think I might be depressed but I don’t believe in therapy or drugs. I used to smoke pot and that helped with the emotions but I quit because of long term effects and the stigma that follows being a pot smoker in today’s society. I do not drink and never been a drinker, only social drinker and I never get drunk. I moved to help my mother who almost died to a aneurysm and now needs daily assistance. My only real friends are about 8 hour drive away. My goal to fix this is to lose about 40 pound of unwanted fat and be strong mentally and physically. Maybe that will fix every aspect in my life like getting a better job and a nice girlfriend. That is what I am counting on.

    Jay Buddy, April 25, 2010 at 11:52 pm
  101. Great article…thanks =D

    christina, May 10, 2010 at 8:50 pm
  102. Jay buddy… I like your ability to analyze your thoughts and emotions. If I were younger, I’d be your girlfriend.

    jay buddy fan, May 15, 2010 at 8:25 pm
  103. i am a male i am mot ashamed to let the tears flow in public. in church the tears are streaming down my face every week. i cry alot in movies sad or if it has a real happy ending doesnt matter i sit ther and bawl. if a friend cries i join right in and start crying too. i know i feel alot better after a good cry.

    steve, May 21, 2010 at 5:27 am
  104. Ok. I read the article and all of your posts. It’s good to know there are so many people out there who cry. I think a good cry now and then is great, but I have a real dilema and I need some GOOD advice here. I work with young women (ages 11 -19) in a treatment facility for girls who have been severely abused (sexually, emotionally, verbally, etc.) I feel very strongly in the power of women and the ability we have to protect ourselves, love ourselves, and be a source for good to those around us. As I work with these young women I try to help them see the strength within themselves. My problem is I will often start to cry when I’m talking to them and telling them how wonderful they are. I think my crying is embarrassing to them and to me. How do I learn to control the crying? I want to stay calm so the conversation can continue. I think often the girl I’m working with will shut down, back away, when she sees me start to cry. This is not good. I really, really need help to stop the cry thing. Any advice?

    crybaby, May 22, 2010 at 10:27 am
  105. @crybaby:
    A friend of mine is a physiotherapist with the same problem. She starts Whenever something bad happens or has happened to one of her patients, but for some people it can actually help because they feel less vunerable if the other person is willing to let down their ‘barriers’.

    One thing that always helps for me is trying to think logically rather then emotionally. It can be very hard if you are naturally an emotional person, but try count to ten and think about how to treat your patient instead of how much they have been through.

    Best of luck!

    Chaotic_Flowers, May 31, 2010 at 10:42 am
  106. I think cry can let me relaxed when im in pressure. And when i feel sad,i ofen cry alone,then i would feel better.

    Mr.Dan(Fem.), June 3, 2010 at 9:10 pm
  107. dogs eat grass. that, right there is the question! they do so because it reminds them of good old home. dogs were founded in Yemen, a medium size country located next to the United Arab of Emerates, below Saudi Arabia. Gandi lived there in his young age, he really had no friends so he would look for dogs. It took many years to find some, when he found a pack he was so happy that he made out with them all. the dogs spoke around the world to other dogs and told them his lips tasted like grass. other dogs really liked grass, they tried to find Gandi but never could because they wanted the taste of it. so they just started eating grass!

    laquita! they hot stuff babe :), June 30, 2010 at 8:47 pm
  108. people cry because chuck norris tells them to!

    laquita! they hot stuff babe :), June 30, 2010 at 8:48 pm
  109. heyy :) iam lola i think that it makes me cry
    sometimes i feel like i have a taco in my chest and its stuck

    lola, July 22, 2010 at 7:10 am
  110. its ok to cry but it depends why you cry mabey cause you hurt and have to let your expretion out and have a feeling that you are hurt on the inside.

    Dr.Murdock, July 26, 2010 at 9:00 pm
  111. I too was just crying and as a biology major was curious to why exactly people cry due to emotions. My ex and i just recently broke up. We had to end our rel`p for non typical reasons (its extremely complicated .. Something youll see in a movie). But anyways at first i found myself wanting to cry because i felt so sorry for myself. As bad as it sounds i wanted to suffer in sadnness but then i realized that behaving in such a way would only lead to depression. Today i cried but for healthier reasons. Lately i have felt a deeper connection to life and it brings tears to my eyes. My point is that there are healthy and unhealthy reasons to cry. For instance crying because i feel pity for myself is not good. Times like those its best to stay strong and keep moving forward. Thats my opinion.

    lala Girl, August 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm
  112. Tears of a chimp are not proven? Yah, sounds typical. We can’t observe that a chimp lost their baby and see tears, we are projecting human emotion, and therefore its not fact. UGH… Science is so strict about proof. The dogma, “Its anecdotal evidence, so further study has to prove it.” – Boring!

    poo poo, August 16, 2010 at 2:34 pm
  113. Thia was very interesting. The question ‘ why do we cry ‘ just popped into my head and I didn’t have the answer. Now I do. Thanks.

    S, September 5, 2010 at 7:16 pm
  114. why do people cry or the most retardest things? crying in the rain is good bc no one knows that you are crying.

    bob, September 22, 2010 at 4:03 pm
  115. This is certainly the best written article on the subject I’ve found so far, but I was hoping for a more detailed biological account of it. Specifically, why are there the additional symptoms of runny/stuffy nose, blotchy and flushed skin, and others which seem to be histamine-related? Is it possible that a build-up of stress (from both positive and negative stressors) related hormones which climaxes with the emotional response of tears is akin to an allergic reaction? This whole topic is very fascinating to me, and I hope more research becomes available on it.

    Azalea, November 25, 2010 at 12:33 am
  116. Additionally, regarding comment 112, crying is a behavior and as such falls under the “social sciences” category where nothing can really be proven. There will always be those who deviate from the norm, and to perform social experiments care must be taken not only to remain unbiased (as you’ve said avoid “projecting human emotions”) but also to include naturalistic observation, since a change of setting could affect the outcome. Someone would thus have to spend years observing chimps in their own habitat until they witness several of them losing babies and can catch these moments and the mothers’ responses with a camera. That is of course assuming that the ones observed are the type to cry in that situation and don’t have other ways of coping. In the end, nothing can really be “proven” which is why there are so many “theories” (tested, but not definitive answers) unfortunately. It is the being, not the science, that is flawed.

    Azalea, November 25, 2010 at 12:41 am
  117. very interesting! nice article.

    Francisco, Angelen H., November 25, 2010 at 9:39 pm
  118. is this TRUE?

    sharmane Conol, December 5, 2010 at 7:34 am
  119. Enlightening…

    At least I know why I cry so damn much…

    Sorry for unnecessary anger & uncensored language… Just a little mad is all…

    Frank, December 17, 2010 at 7:07 pm
  120. can all humans cry

    katie, January 3, 2011 at 2:58 pm
  121. this was interesting but i dont like crying in any way n it cud be worse ive spent my whole life crying and its pain ful but it can suck majorly bad but i guess u live throo it

    allison, January 18, 2011 at 2:40 pm
  122. ….urk

    Jev, January 22, 2011 at 12:21 am
  123. haha i said my name was jev. this i, wierd.

    Jev, January 22, 2011 at 12:22 am
  124. very insightful…. Loved it!

    aKnEiWaLh, January 23, 2011 at 4:42 pm
  125. Did not answer the question. So why do people cry? Why?

    mrd, February 13, 2011 at 8:56 am
  126. it was okay

    poiluk, February 14, 2011 at 7:56 am
  127. i agree with number 125 what is it really not animals HUMANS

    poiluk, February 14, 2011 at 7:58 am
  128. Great information!

    Singaporerox, May 8, 2011 at 10:27 am
  129. But,is it answering my question?NO!:(

    Singaporerox, May 8, 2011 at 10:28 am
  130. What is wrong with me? I have wrote to Dear Abby twice to ask this question but she won’t answer, My problem is I can’t cry. I haven’t cried in almost 20 years. I try but I can’t. Could someone please answer this?

    Sheri, May 25, 2011 at 8:00 pm
  131. if a human cry is an act of communication then what about when someone is crying alone with no one around by themselves. Then what is it its obvioulsly no more than a release of pain. so i would never imagine it to be as communication thats stupid.

    emily, June 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm
  132. well,it’s a rlly great article.Yet,I wanted to mention some points.
    Actually,not all people are the same..
    Some people Might cry for no reason..and those who cry for a reason..that’s because they strongly believe that what happened to them is real.I mean,sometimes..things that are extremely sad and horrible happen to me,yet ..my tears don’t fall unless I let it sink in,that what’s happening to me is real.That is how some actors and actresses cry in movies,although they’re just acting,but they DO cry while filming,because they make themselves believe / they pretend that it’s true ,or something in the movie can relate to them.

    Mexxx, July 28, 2011 at 3:58 am
  133. every single human being cried…
    on the very first day of each one’s life….
    U can’t deny that…
    No one is feelingless…
    Except those who murder each other…
    In …some …countries…don’t wanna mention the names….
    Sorry went too out of topic…just rlly mad…

    Jeena G., July 29, 2011 at 8:28 am
  134. Charlotte T, how can you not cry in your life? THAT’S IMPOSSIBLE!!!! THINK! When you were a baby, you don’t know if you cried or not, so I wouldn’t go around like the toughest nut on the planet.

    Everybody else: I cry when I’m sad. Sometimes I get mood swings and am really sad for two secs, then I’m fine. It’s odd.

    Writergirl60, September 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm
  135. yesterday i cried all day. I was so sad

    Writergirl60, September 12, 2011 at 4:35 pm
  136. Whenever I sing the chorus to breakaway tears come to my eyes. It starts to sting then whhhhhoooossshhh my eyes are flowing like Niagara Falls. I don’t know if it is emotional or sadness crying?Please could you answer my question

    Savanna, October 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm
  137. This is very helpful to the speech I am giving on tears and why humans cry thank you. You prodvided alot of information

    Nicole, October 18, 2011 at 6:37 pm
  138. If you cry in front of people you get locked up in a mental asylum and medicated for the rest of your life until you cease being yourself and become a hollow shell, completely numb to everything and anything around you or inside you. I’m trying to decide whether I should give up and become like that or just continue my current path, experiencing life, taking the good with the bad, crying to deal with it all at the same time and subsequently being rejected by all family, friends and any relationship partners I might have in the future. I have a problem where I keep saying things like “I wish I lived in a world where….” but this is the world I live in and I can’t just “accept it” so I rely on crying to “deal with it”.

    Jeremy, October 23, 2011 at 4:43 am
  139. A very nice article.

    Petar, February 9, 2012 at 11:26 am
  140. do animals cry? yes. humans are animals.

    sirgarycoleman, February 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm
  141. You cry becuse a serton emotion hits you somewhere.

    Emily Nicole Wang, March 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm
  142. I’m a men, when I tell good story or happing good thing for same one or for me I cride at the same time I cride when I sad or when I talk to people who has big problem or even when I see them I cride I 40 years old I feel very shame.

    mesfin, April 6, 2012 at 10:49 am
  143. My dearly loved daughter Miriam died last June at the age of 25. For months, I cried every day. In the past month I haven’t been crying as often, but now that June of 2012 is almost here, I am starting to weep again.

    Crying might make me feel a bit better emotionally — I don’t know for sure — but it definitely makes me feel worse physically. I get a headache whenever I cry more than a drop or two. That headache has become an incentive for me to control my tears.

    Miriam, I love you.

    Ralph, April 16, 2012 at 4:39 pm
  144. crying is cool dude

    ink drop, May 1, 2012 at 6:29 pm
  145. I’d always been curiou about tears, and the causes of crying. To those many people who asked why some people cry for no reason, the article DOES state that tears remove many hormones and toxins from the body. In other words, if your body has a large buildup of these hormones and toxins, you will let loose sooner or later.
    Also, Amber, you spelled “Losers” wrong. Spelling important. Fool.

    Anon, May 8, 2012 at 10:46 pm
  146. This is a very interenting, informative and helpful article. I’ve always been curious about tears and the causes of crying. I’ve been to all sorts of the websites but this is the most helpful yet.

    Thanks a lot for the information!!!

    Carol G, August 18, 2012 at 12:52 am
  147. thanks used it for a research project :)

    jordyn simpson, January 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm
  148. people who cry a lot why do they do it

    jodie, March 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm
  149. I real understand know wy people cry and wahat casues ite

    Parikshit, March 29, 2013 at 10:42 am
  150. To whoever it may consern,

    I just want to say thank you. This article answered many questions of mine in many ways.

    ShoeG, April 3, 2013 at 7:32 pm
  151. very nicely done I love your layout and your funny introductory congrats you have just been bookwormed by moi kiss kiss xoxoxoxoxoxox gossip girl

    penelopebook reviewer, April 30, 2013 at 8:38 pm
  152. this is weird

    chelsea, May 5, 2013 at 11:45 pm
  153. How are these tears produced?

    anu, May 16, 2013 at 8:36 am
  154. could you post the studies as well next time, just so it’s easy to get to…..?

    natasha, October 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm
  155. very insightful article.

    Chiradee Madel, October 15, 2013 at 1:21 am
  156. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the
    page layout of your website? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content
    so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

    thepenisenlargementbiblereview.tumblr.com, March 12, 2014 at 12:17 am
  157. One thing is cultural. In many societies (especially the English speaking world) it is considered for only women the ‘freedom’ to cry and not men who are viewed as ‘macho’ and a ‘sissy’ or ‘wuss’ if allowed to weep. In Europe it is another story, there is more sensitivity that crying is healthy for all genders.

    Also in Japan it is more for women to be allowed to cry, though as simply being human no matter what societal culture one is from, men will cry as well.

    Now, I must say that especially just after this latest disaster over the Ukraine with that tragedy of flight MH-017 between the Netherlands and Malaysia being totally needlessly shot down by crazed seperatist extremists (backed by Putin) being part Dutch myself, I REALLY broked down and let it flow!

    I am indeed of the school that believes that the ability to cry must be never tampered with such as trying to suppress the urge (especially by men). I am Japanese/Dutch 24 year old, and yes if indeed I feel the need to, then I simply ‘huilen’ (cry)!

    Sato Tatsuhiro, July 27, 2014 at 4:35 am
  158. Crying is simply exercised in order to release pain, but too much of crying reduces ones life span. good article otherwise.

    Dj Smart, September 4, 2014 at 8:02 am
  159. I am a military man and crying is for ladies! However…I have had a complete change of thought as for as crying goes. The very reason I looked this topic up was because I have cried secretly for nearly 2 days. I looked it up because I seriously wonder how mant more tears could flow. They literally drip and run down my face. I’d like to give a message to ALL males: “Don’t think you are not allowed to cry. Let the tears flow”
    I have been through a very rough time and I believe tears has made my a better man. You will find yourself more caring to your wife, more thankful and grateful. Crying softens your heart. You’ll become a better lover and be a lot more lovable too. Allow crying to affect your thinking and oit will change you into something much better than what you think you can make yourself to be. BRAVE MEN CAN CRY!!

    Aussie Tough Man, September 18, 2014 at 8:41 am
  160. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?

    Many thanks!

    Jonnie E. Cambia, October 2, 2014 at 11:09 am
  161. Not one comment has addressed the physiological reason for crying: Yes, we may have a build up of stress related hormones etc etc, and we feel better when we excrete these by crying, but why crying? Why not sweating or urinating? When we have a build up of stress or fear, we DO sweat, but that doesn’t answer the physiological reason why we have to excrete these hormones etc in tears and not through any other route. I think we simply just don’t know. Period.

    stan, January 3, 2015 at 2:32 pm
  162. Great site you have got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours nowadays.
    I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!

    Elijah, January 30, 2015 at 6:30 am
  163. In response to comment #10, I am one of those people. Finding a photo from years ago brings me to rock bottom, border line suicidal. Missing that person, instantly regretting everything I did to remove them from my life. Seemingly feeling all of the pain I may have caused them, and more pain in general as I imagine their life playing out further

    Terry, March 7, 2015 at 8:18 pm
  164. i am 9 and very curious i always wanted to know this.

    rajesh, August 16, 2015 at 11:01 am
post your comment