06/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Six Secrets Of Sneezing

I've always looked forward to my dad's sneezes. (Yeah, I know how weird that sounds.) Not that I'm constantly hoping he'll catch a cold, but he has the best sneeze I've ever heard. It's loud, powerful, and it sounds like he's crying out "Blllleeessss ya!" each time he does it. His sneezes sound wholly satisfying--the antithesis to the barely-audible squeaks emitted by the woman I sat next to on the bus this morning.

The same kind of irritants (dust, pepper, etc.) can create the same internal reaction in all of us, but its externalization is highly individualized. We all know that everyone sneezes differently, but have we ever considered why? For being such a common, everyday occurrence, that little (or big) expulsion of air is actually a complex process involving more nuances than many of us realize.


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