A viral TikTok explains the science behind crying — and honestly, it feels a little personal

It turns out crying is a lot more complicated than it usually feels.

The info comes courtesy of a viral TikTok that has plenty of people sharing their amazement. The video, posted by the Institute of Human Anatomy (IOHA), explains the science behind our tears.

According to an IOHA employee, there’s a lot more than water coming out when we cry. In fact, there are tons of substances in our tears — ranging from hormones and electrolytes to mucus and fat molecules.

“There’s so many different things all inside of your tears,” the clip explains.


Reply to @tanaaaa8 Great job @mallorygillespiee ! Today’s ? is from @angelicnymph — Bell’s palsy? ##learnontiktok ##tiktokpartner ##tears ##education

♬ original sound – instituteofhumananatomy

The video goes on to show exactly where tears come from. Mainly, that culprit is the lacrimal glands, which are located just above each eye.

From there, the tears find their way to your nasal cavity, and ultimately your throat. Or at least, that’s what usually happens.

“Unless of course you’r crying because you’re hyper-emotional and you make too many tears,” the employee explains lightheartedly. “Then it just drips down your face, so everyone can see.”

Many TikTok users were astounded by the knowledge.

“I just learned so much! Wish my teacher was like this,” one user wrote.

“So it’s kinda like sweating…” one user theorized.

Other commenters were left with more questions than answers. Several chimed in to ask what it is about sad emotions that make us cry. A few wanted to know what about the evolutionary benefits of tears.

The IOHA didn’t answer those questions — but the lab is extremely active on TikTok — so maybe we’ll learn even more about our tears soon. In the meantime, this Time explainer on why we cry has plenty of strange info about the process.

If you liked this story, check out In The Know’s article on the TikToker who shared their divisive breakfast cereal hack.

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