We counted the number of
words in every joke that people submitted. According to the data,
jokes containing 103 words are the funniest.
Many of the jokes submitted
contained reference to animals. We found that jokes mentioning ducks
are funnier than others. Perhaps it’s because of their beaks,
or webbed feet, or odd shape. Regardless, the implication is clear
– if you are going to tell a joke involving an animal, make
it a duck.
One of the most important
parts of the body’s defenses against disease and illness is
its ‘immune system’. Experiments suggest that people
who laugh more, and are able to look on the funny side of life,
have healthier immune systems than others.
A good laugh also increases our heart rate, helps us breathe more
deeply, and stretches many different muscles in our face and upper
body. In fact, it is like a mini work-out – a quick visit
to the giggle gym.
One researcher estimated that a good laugh produces an increase
in heart rate that is equivalent to ten minutes on a rowing machine
or fifteen minutes on an exercise bike .
Philosophers and scientists
have been fascinated by humour for over 2000 years. The famous philosopher
Aristotle (384–322 BC) wrote a great deal about the topic.
Unfortunately, we only have indirect references to his ideas because
his actual treatise on laughter has been lost in the mists of time.
Interestingly, it is this ‘lost volume’ of humour that
lays at the centre of the well known book and film ‘The Name
of the Rose’.
Scientific research has shown
that 35% of people have been tickled in the past week, 86% in the
past year , 40% of people have tickled someone else in the past
week, and 84% in the past year.