11 Surprising Sneezing Facts
How fast does a sneeze travel? Can sex and sunshine make you sneeze? Get the strange sneezing facts.
11 Surprising Sneezing Facts continued...
9. Sex can be a sneezing trigger. Have sex, must sneeze? It happens
more often than you might think. Researchers believe that the stimulation of
the parasympathetic nervous system fires off signals in some people to not only
enjoy the act of sex, but to sneeze when it's over.
10. The sneeziest animal: the iguana. Iguanas sneeze more often and
more productively than any other animal, according to Wood's research. Sneezing
is how they rid their bodies of certain salts that are the normal byproduct of
their digestive process, Woods says.
11. How do you stop a sneeze? While it's not foolproof, "Try
breathing through your mouth and pinching the end of your nose," Kao says.
Strange sneezing facts aside, there are some beliefs about sneezing that
just aren't true.
For instance, it's not true that your heart stops when you sneeze. When your
chest contracts because of a sneeze, your blood flow is momentarily constricted
as well. As a result, the rhythm of your heart may change, but it definitely
And your eyeballs cannot pop out of your head when you sneeze. Most people
naturally close their eyes when they sneeze, but if they are able to keep them
open, their eyes stay firmly planted in their heads where they belong. "While a
person's blood pressure behind the eyes may increase slightly when he sneezes,
it's not enough force to dislodge the eyeballs from the head," Kao says.
Wood has heard of other sneezing folklore, including the notion that if you
sneeze, company is coming over, and if your cat sneezes, it's going to
As for the blessing many people say after someone sneezes, Wood explains
that the Greek word for sneeze is "pneuma," which means "soul or spirit."
"A post-sneeze blessing stems from the ancient belief that sneezing is a
near-death experience, and that a blessing will prevent your soul or sneeze
from escaping your body and will deter the devil from entering in," Wood