Hiccups are a strange and fascinating human habit that scientists still have a lot of questions about.
We’ve all got our own way of getting rid of the hiccups, most of which are old wives’ tales; but which of these techniques are actually effective.
So, what are hiccups? Hiccups occur as a result of two important parts of the human body – the diaphragm and the epiglottis.
The diaphragm is the large muscle underneath the lungs which expands and contracts to push air in and out of the lungs.
The epiglottis is a small flap made of tissue at the top of the wind pipe that closes when you’re eating food to prevent you from inhaling your dinner.
A hiccup occurs when your diaphragm suddenly sucks in too much air at the same time your epiglottis slams shut causing the loud hiccup noise.
Cosmos journalist Ellen Phiddian breaks down the exact science behind hiccups including their purpose, whether there’s a cure and whether holding your breath actually works.
Tune into the full episode of Huh? Science Explained below…