As conscious beings, humans like to think we control how our body functions in our daily lives. Say you want to switch the channel on your television. You pick up the remote, you press the button, and you start watching your favourite re-run.

But then, your eye starts twitching uncontrollably.

What’s the deal?!

Here are 5 totally weird involuntary behaviours explained by science.

Odd Behaviour 1: Eye Twitching

Let’s start with that pesky eye twitch. You’re sitting in your office chair writing up that long report for your boss on the computer.

All of a sudden, the corner of your eye starts to twitch. More often than not, eventually the twitch disappears. So what causes it?
According to the Mayo Clinic, most cases of eye twitching are a non-serious condition brought about by multiple factors. These can include caffeine, fatigue, stress, and smoking.

But, in certain cases, your eyes may be trying to tell you something about your health.
Some serious neurological disorders present with eye twitching. These include conditions, such as Multiple Sclerosis and Bell’s palsy.

Before you feel the need to call your neurologist, rest easy knowing that such serious conditions usually exhibit a wide range of symptoms and not eye twitching only.

Odd Behaviour 2: Sleep Start

What’s a sleep start you may ask? Have you ever gone to bed and just as your drifting off into sleep… you suddenly twitch and jolt yourself awake?

You may have just experienced a sleep start, otherwise known as a hypnic jerk. So why do people feel these sudden sensations of falling just as they are about to sleep?
There are several trains of thought on this topic. One of which suggests that sleep starts are totally random events that occur in healthy people.

Boring right?

Well, some researchers believe that it’s an evolutionary characteristic that primates developed to prevent themselves from falling out of trees once they fell asleep.

Maybe we aren’t so different from our primate ancestors after all.

Odd Behaviour 3: Yawning

Everyone’s teacher has scolded them for it at least once in their lives. You swear to yourself it’s only because you’re tired. But what does the science say?
Although your yawning may be due to lack of sleep, it may also be due to increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in your blood.

Researchers stipulate that the yawning action draws in extra levels of oxygen to displace the carbon dioxide.
Perhaps the reason you yawned is because you just saw someone else yawn!

One study suggests that this is due to mirror neurons located in the brain, which strive to mimic actions seen within species.

Regardless of the cause, try not yawning while on jury duty, as you may be found in contempt of court.

Odd Behaviour 4: Hiccups

We’ve all been there. Perhaps just going about your regular routine. Or perhaps in the middle of that important budget meeting…

The dreaded hiccups…

What are they and what causes them?
Also known as a Synchronous Diaphragmatic Flutter. Hiccups are an involuntary contraction of the diaphragm brought about by rapid eating, laughing, and coughing.

In more drastic cases, hiccups could be a side effect of a serious neurological issue.

In 2007, a British man hiccupped 10 million times with a 27-month period! Upon examination, it was discovered that his hiccups were caused by a brain tumour pressing against his nerves. Luckily, surgery cured him of his problem.

Odd Behaviour 5: Sun Sneeze

Have you ever looked at a bright light and instantly sneezed? You may have something called Autosomal Dominant Compelling Helio-Ophthalmic Syndrome, or ACHOO for short.

One study found that this condition could affect as much as 35% of the general population. Although there is no widely accepted cause of the condition, it is believed to be inherited. One study showed a relationship between ATCHOO and a single gene modification on chromosome 2.

Bonus Behaviour!

Post micturition convulsion syndrome: Shivering after peeing.

No one knows the exact cause but the common belief is that the shivering is due to a release of adrenaline.

The adrenaline serves to re-establish our blood pressure after voiding a particularly large amount of urine and it may trigger the shivering.

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