Why are yawns contagious?

by Paul Finnigan

“Of course,” said the Know-All. “There’s competing theory as to why we yawn or as it’s otherwise called engage in the act of pandiculation when someone else does. One idea is that it’s to do with empathy. We’re showing the other person we’re on their wavelength. That we’re understanding their thoughts and feelings. And then the other, which is my own personal view, is that when we see someone else yawn we think they’re going to steal all the oxygen in the room so we compete to inhale the air. Survival of the fittest and all that which brings me nicely onto Darwin.”

At this point I was feeling a little sleepy so I began to …

Paul Finnigan is thirty years old and from Liverpool.

  1. #1 by John Ritchie on May 7, 2011 - 8:33 am

    Sorry, what was that all about? I just suddenly started…

    Great fun, Paul, made me smile, just before I started…


  2. #2 by Diana E. Backhouse on May 7, 2011 - 8:34 am

    I managed to read this without a single pandiculatory* action, Paul.

    *that’s not in the dictionary, whereas pandiculation is although it was a new one to me. Great word! Thanks for drawing my attention to it.

  3. #3 by jennifer walmsley on May 7, 2011 - 8:55 am

    This made me laugh. Thanks Paul.

  4. #4 by S de Assaf on May 7, 2011 - 9:20 am

    So true and so funny. Very amusing – loved it!

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