Interesting Facts About Sneezing

Sneezing is a natural phenomenon that occurs commonly. Why do you sneeze? You sneeze when your nose has an irritation, and it sends a message to the brain, making you sneeze (and sending the irritation out of the nose). It by no means shows that you are sick. Throughout history, there has been many myths and false beliefs regarding sneezing.

First of all, after sneezing, you might have heard someone say “Bless You”. This is very common in everyday language indeed, but have you ever wondered why someone said that and when this saying started? Well, it seems that it dates back to more than 1000 years ago in the 6th century. Pope Gregory the Great started saying bless you as there was a deadly epidemic/plague in Europe at the time, and sneezing was considered as a plague symptom. As a result, he would say “bless you”, hoping that the person would be blessed by god and get well.

There are other misconceptions about sneezing too. “Your heart stops when you sneeze” is often heard of in this decade or so especially on the internet, and it is completely false (see here for more info). When sneezing, your soul doesn’t come out of your nose, no, and neither does it give an opportunity for devils to go into your body in that opportunity!

What is the longest length of time you have sneezed continuously for? 2 minutes? 3 minutes? Well, this twelve year old girl Donna Griffths sneezed for almost 3 years continuously, for a period of 985 days (from 1981 to 1983), sneezing several million times in her fit. Crazy, huh! (Here’s more information about sneezing).

Next time when you hear “Bless You”, think about the complex history and the funny but ridiculous beliefs surrounding it!