Why Do You Laugh When You are Tickled?

Warning: I am not Bill Nye, the Science Guy. I do not have a logical explanation. I’m more at the stage of utter confusion when it comes to this very serious physiological question.

Is tickling an enjoyable sensation?

We shriek. We yelp. We try to get away. And, yet, while it’s happening, we laugh.

Does it hurt or does it feel good? Do we hate it or do we like it? If we do like it, why do we try to escape it? And if it doesn’t feel good, why do we laugh when it’s happening?

And just so you know, googling and trying to look like a genius isn’t going to work. Tried it already. While there are theories as to why we laugh when tickled, it’s seems that science simply doesn’t know for sure. Apparently, the awesome phenomenon was studied by Socrates, Galileo, and Darwin, and none of them could figure it out.

And if you think that’s amazing… even Bill Nye doesn’t know.

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  1. Maybe it’s some kind of emotional/nervous (panicky?) kind of reaction. I have horrible memories of being tickled till I couldn’t breath, so threats of tickling are serious business to me. :o)

  2. Damn! lost my comment to bad arithmetic! Something like:
    Me too, the thought of serious tickling gets me nervous. But the gentle touch that involuntarily produces a giggle to burst forth, not so bad. 🙂

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