A scientist has revealed the reason passengers cry on planes
It is not uncommon to be surrounded by strangers on long haul flights and to notice that one or more are crying over the in-flight entertainment.
In fact, it has been speculated that the mix of altitude and alcohol means you’re more likely to cry at a film in the sky than.
Having watched it on the ground, it may not have evoked such a strong reaction.
According to a study conducted by Virgin Atlantic at the end of last year, 44 per cent of male passengers confessed that they have “buried themselves beneath a blanket” to prevent fellow passengers spotting their tears.
Women in the same situation revealed they were more likely to prevent there was “something in their eye.”
The study went on to reveal that more than half of those that took part said they had experienced teary emotions thousands of feet in the air.
So why does it appear that more people cry when flying?
According to The Sun, Dr Paul Wicks has finally revealed the surprising answer.
Despite years of speculation that the cabin pressure and attitude may have had something to do with it, Dr Wicks explained there was little difference between watching a film on a plane and your sofa.
He said: “If there was a difference it wasn’t due to being up in the air. The rate of crying is very similar to being up in the air or on the ground.
“We were surprised to find no elevated level of crying on a plane.
“Age, annual household income, feeling tired, or drinking alcohol were not significant factors either.”
Dr Paul Wicks explained there was little difference between watching a film on a plane and your hous
When you are on a plane you choose different films
In fact, Dr Wicks revealed that the answer is more than likely down to human behaviour.
On long-haul flights, in particular, airlines are notorious for showing a whole host of different movie titles.
With such a variety on offer, Dr Wicks highlighted that it would not be surprising for someone to watch a film they would have otherwise have skipped.
He explained: “When you are on a plane you choose different films.
“When people are having an emotional reaction it may be that they have chosen a different type of film that is a guilty pleasure.”
Dr Paul Wicks revealed passengers binge watching films is more likely to make them cry
GP Dr Nick Knight explained this further in a conversation with the Telegraph.
He said: “Having a cry is a complex business, triggered by anything from the benign and insidious to the abundantly obvious.
“Sticking yourself in an unfamiliar environment 30,000 feet off the ground and therefore away from your comforts of everyday life, surrounded by strangers and even stranger sounds, sits nicely on that spectrum.
“Sprinkle in your likely altered human physiology with lower air pressures and oxygen levels and your body and mind is promoted to go into emotional lability.”
As well as the variety of films on offer, the vast contrast of the cabin environment compared to that of your bedroom could trigger passengers to behave out of character.