Why Do We Yawn, Hiccup and Get Goosebumps?

The reasons may surprise you

Throughout the ages, people have wondered and invented explanations – some reasonable and some quite far-fetched – as to why we yawn, hiccup and get goosebumps.

Advertising Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Centuries ago, people claimed hiccups meant a growth spurt for children, that you should cover your mouth during a yawn to prevent your soul from leaving the body. People also believed that  goosebumps make your hair grow faster.

Most people in the modern world don’t have those beliefs, yet the majority of them still don’t know why our bodies behave in these ways.

Are goosebumps a sign of our animal nature?

Goosebumps – everybody gets them. When you’re cold, afraid, shocked, anxious or even inspired, goosebumps can suddenly pop up all over the skin. But what really causes this involuntary body response? Does it serve a purpose? Learn the surprising reasons that goosebumps help animals survive, which may explain why humans get them too: Why Do You Get Goosebumps?

Advertising Policy

 

How are strong emotions related to hiccups?

Most people have experienced the uncomfortable, sometimes quite noisy condition known as hiccups. Most of us know that eating too quickly can cause hiccups, but you may not realize that they also can happen during emotional situations or as a result of temperature changes. Find out what is really happening in your body when you get hiccups: Why Do You Get Hiccups? (and How to Stop Them).

 

Advertising Policy

Can seeing someone yawn make you yawn, too?

You may yawn when you feel sleepy, bored or when someone around you yawns. Sometimes a yawn comes on for no apparent reason at all. Many people have heard the theory that people yawn because the brain needs more oxygen. This simply isn’t true. Recent research points to other explanations. Find out more: Why Do You Yawn and Is it Contagious?

Why Do We Yawn, Hiccup and Get Goosebumps?