Why is yawning contagious?

Ever wondered why most people yawn after someone else has yawned?

The Naked Scientist Chris Smith says while there is no definite answer, there are plenty of theories on why yawning is contagious.

It's a visual thing, when we see people yawn it makes us want to yawn.

Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

One suggestion is that if you are in a group of people, if one person is feeling fatigued, it is likely that the others are too. So if one person yawns and makes themselves more alert then other people catch that yawn and other people yawn sympathetically, they also will become more alert....

Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

Smith says animals can also pass it on.

It doesn't appear to be just humans, you can catch yawns off your pets and your pets can catch yawns off you.

Chris Smith, Naked Scientist

Click on the link below to listen to hear more from Smith....


This article first appeared on 702 : Why is yawning contagious?


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
The Naked Scientist: What determines luck?

The Naked Scientist: What determines luck?

Dr Chris Smith, fondly known as the 'Naked Scientist', answers a variety of science-related questions.

Naked Scientist: How much water is too much for your body a day?

Naked Scientist: How much water is too much for your body a day?

Chris Smith explains why you need to replace what you are losing and how too much water can pose some health risks.

Why aren't all human-beings ambidextrous?

Why aren't all human-beings ambidextrous?

This week, The Naked Scientist, Dr Chris Smith says studies show that only 10% of the population is left-handed.

Is serial cheating genetic?

Is serial cheating genetic?

Chris Smith, better known as The Naked Scientist, looks at whether there a genetic basis to people not being monogamous.

Naked Scientist: Here is what may be the cause of your bad body odour

Naked Scientist: Here is what may be the cause of your bad body odour

The Naked Scientist answers this and other questions.

Ever wondered why you go for that slice of cake...even when you're full?

Ever wondered why you go for that slice of cake...even when you're full?

Chris Smith, better known as The Naked Scientist, answers this and other questions from listeners.

Naked Scientist: Here is why birds don't get electrocuted on a power line

Naked Scientist: Here is why birds don't get electrocuted on a power line

Naked Scientists Chris Smith answers this and other scientific questions.

Naked Scientist: Scientists have figured out what dinosaur DNA may look like

Naked Scientist: Scientists have figured out what dinosaur DNA may look like

Researchers at the University of Kent in England, have deciphered what is said to be a 66 million year old mystery.

Popular articles
Pieter du Toit on VBS, Malema's EFF and contradicting ethics

Pieter du Toit on VBS, Malema's EFF and contradicting ethics

Malema has accused the rogue unit of still being operational and Pravin Gordhan of working in the background against the EFF.

Zondi tells court that she had to 'look happy' in church out of fear for Omotoso

Zondi tells court that she had to 'look happy' in church out of fear for Omotoso

Cheryl Zondi is testifying against Pastor Timothy Omotoso who is accused of rape and human trafficking in his Durban church.

[WATCH] A golden buzzer for South African trio on talent show

[WATCH] A golden buzzer for South African trio on talent show

Khabazela shares some of the most popular tweets, posts, and videos on 'What's gone viral'.

'The EFF seems to be trying to find scapegoats'

'The EFF seems to be trying to find scapegoats'

Deputy Editor at Financial Mail, Sikhonathi Mantshantsha, seems to be finding excuses as to why its leaders are in trouble.

VBS gave Zuma R8.5m before any security was provided for loan - News 24 journo

VBS gave Zuma R8.5m before any security was provided for loan - News 24 journo

News 24 investigative journalist Kyle Cowan reports that Zuma was granted the loan despite the fact that he could not afford it.

Woman alleges pastor Omotoso began sexually abusing her at 14

Woman alleges pastor Omotoso began sexually abusing her at 14

Nigerian pastor Timothy Omotoso and his two co-accused face multiple charges, including human trafficking, racketeering and rape.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.