What causes "hiccoughs" ?

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Vicki B

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What causes "hiccoughs" ?
« on: 11/12/2009 13:30:03 »
Vicki B  asked the Naked Scientists:
Hi there,

I listen to your podcasts before I go to sleep. They are great but as I listen to them in bed, they are also quite handy for helping me get to sleep. (And you don't learn stuff while you listen to it when asleep!!) Sometimes it takes me a few nights to listen to the whole podcast!!

Anyway, my question is about hiccoughs.

Sometimes when I step outside from the warm house into the cooler air I will get hiccoughs. Someone thought it might be the change of gas / air size in my diaphragm due to air temperature changing but it happens too quickly for that to be true, I reckon.

What do you guys think??

Vicki, Fremantle, Western Australia.

What do you think?


Offline BamaGeek

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« Reply #1 on: 11/01/2010 23:02:42 »
I read that humans inherited hiccoughs from amphibians, which gulp their air. I think when they came out of a warm pond into the cold air, they hiccoughed to prevent cold air getting inside them, and I think your body may be doing something similar.  So next time you get the hiccoughs, thank a frog!


Offline Geezer

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« Reply #2 on: 12/01/2010 06:27:23 »
In my case, it's hot curry that does it. I've no idea why!
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.