Why do we laugh? What makes us laugh? Why do we so love funny stories, movies, jokes and events that make us laugh?
Believe it or not, a researcher named Richard Wiseman decided to conduct a study to try to answer some of these questions.
The project was set-up in collaboration with The British Science Association, and involved people sending in their favourite jokes, and rating how funny they found the jokes submitted by others. The project attracted attention from the international media, resulting in the website receiving over 40,000 jokes and 1.5 million ratings. ~ LaughLabAt the end of the year of research, this joke was found to be the world's funniest joke:
Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn’t seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps, “My friend is dead! What can I do?”. The operator says “Calm down. I can help. First, let’s make sure he’s dead.” There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says “OK, now what?”
The second funniest joke was:
Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson go on a camping trip. After a good dinner and a bottle of wine, they retire for the night, and go to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes wakes up and nudges his faithful friend. "Watson, look up at the sky and tell me what you see." "I see millions and millions of stars, Holmes" replies Watson. "And what do you deduce from that?" Watson ponders for a minute. "Well, astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. Theologically, I can see that God is all powerful, and that we are a small and insignificant part of the universe... What does it tell you, Holmes?" Holmes is silent for a moment. "Watson, you idiot!" he says. "Someone has stolen our tent!"