What do you know about your tears?

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Whether you're crying tears of joy or crying over spilled milk, how much do you really know about the tears rolling down your face?

Question 1 of 12

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Men and women cry in different ways.

When women cry, they usually have tears that overflow and run down their cheeks, says Dr. Beth Ann Ditkoff, author of “Why Don’t Your Eyelashes Grow? Curious Questions Kids Ask About the Human Body.”

Men's eyes typically well up with tears, but they don't make enough to actually have them roll down their faces.

Question 2 of 12

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How many tears do we produce each year?

We cry so much that we produce about 10 ounces a day, adding up to a whopping 30 gallons a year. Women cry about 5.3 times a month, compared to men who shed tears only 1.3 times per month, according to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Research in Personality.

Question 3 of 12

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We cry several types of tears.

There are actually three types of tears: basal, reflex and emotional. They spring from our tear ducts for different reasons, and are made up of different mixtures of water, mucus, proteins, salt and hormones, among other things.

Question 4 of 12

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Some tears are always in our eyes.

Basal tears are constantly in our eyes. They lubricate and protect the cornea, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. They make sure the cornea is always wet and nourished and make a smooth, even coating to help your vision each time you blink.

Question 5 of 12

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Reflex tears can form in response to:

Similar to basal tears, reflex tears work to protect your eyes . They spring up to wash out irritants that may come in contact with your eyes that "make your eyes water."

Question 6 of 12

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Emotional tears may have a different makeup than basal and reflex tears.

When we cry because of pain, grief, happiness or anger, we often have full-body spasms and changes in our breathing. Some researchers say these emotional tears have more hormones and proteins that other tears.

It's believed that when you release some of these hormones via tears, you may feel calmer after you cry.

Question 7 of 12

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What might keep an onion from making you cry?

When you cut an onion, it releases an enzyme called syn-propanethial-S-oxide into the air. Your eyes register it as a potentially harmful compound and start to water before it can do any harm. Some of these tricks might help or you can try Vidalia and other sweet onions which don't trigger as many tears.

Question 8 of 12

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Crocodiles really do cry tears sometimes.

People are said to cry "crocodile tears" when they're being insincere. It's based on the idea that crocs shed fake tears of remorse when eating their prey.

But according to National Geographic, crocodiles seem to create tears all the time in order to lubricate their eyes. Sometimes the tears just sit there and other times they run down their face. But because crocodiles spend so much time in the water, it's hard to observe their tears.

Question 9 of 12

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Most babies typically cry at about the same pitch.

"Most babies cry at C or C-sharp at birth with a range of only about a halftone, or only the difference between two keys on a piano," writes Tom Lutz in "Crying: The Natural and Cultural History of Tears." As they get older, babies cry at different pitches.

Question 10 of 12

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Women cry more often than men, and for longer periods of time.

Women cry an average of 30 to 64 times per year, according to a study by the German Society of Ophthalmology, while men cry only six to 17 times each year. Women tend to cry for about six minutes, while men typically cry for between two and four minutes.

Question 11 of 12

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If you put a quiet baby down next to a crying baby, what typically happens?

In his book "Empathy and Moral Development," NYU psychology professor Martin L. Hoffman said babies demonstrate empathy when they cry next to a tiny bawling peer. Babies will also cry when they hear recording of other babies crying, but not when they hear recordings of themselves.

Question 12 of 12

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Researchers believe girls and boys do an equal amount of crying until when?

While we're babies and small children, we all cry about the same, But once adolescence hits, hormones change everything. When testosterone levels increase for boys, the amount of crying they do drops. But for girls, rising estrogen levels means crying happens much more frequently.

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