There are three reasons why people cry. The first is to cleanse our eyes or get rid of anything that’s irritating them. The cause and effect and positive results from that process are pretty clear, but as to why we express tears of sadness and tears of joy, the science is far more complicated.

Put together by ASAP Science, a brilliant YouTube channel that has examined everything from evolution to goosebumps to snooze buttons before, the above video focuses primarily on those second two reasons, and humorously, the result is we don’t really know yet. Leading theories posit we could be crying out our stress or trying to earn empathy from other people who might see us or trying to make our emotions seem real, but in truth, we have no idea, which is a strangely cool reminder of how far research still needs to go.

There are a lot of different science channels operating with plenty of popularity on YouTube today. ASAP Science, as implied by its name, typically offers far briefer answers than the other major outlets give, but that’s really part of its charm.

So, the next time you’re crying and can’t figure out why, just remember scientists are in the exact same boat as you.

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