What makes us want to tickle each other?

Is it some strange form of torture humans picked up through our evolution? Or could it be that tickling has been conditioning us in some way all of our lives? Today, we learn some fascinating insights about this uncontrollable reaction!

Image: Happy couple laughing

Source: Pixabay

Here’s something to consider: It’s all fun and games when you’re a kid, but as we grow older, the threat or even the mere idea of being tickled can develop into an immensely uncomfortable sensation. The inability to control the laughter it elicits or the reflexes our body has learned to fend off the person is something that’s avoided by most… but could this actually be the whole point?

Here’s BrainCraft with a little more insight…

Via: BrainCraft  1

What an interesting way to evolve! Before watching this, I never actually considered that tickling may have an important purpose in our development! Yet now, it seems that it not only helps condition us to protect ourselves, but the uncontrollable laughter it elicits also helps us form bonds with one another!

Let’s delve a little deeper into this thought with this adorable video of some of our closest relatives thanks to BBC

 Via: BBC  2

How cute are they?

Do you think the Bonobo also feels the same discomfort that many humans develop over time? Or rather, is the act of tickling merely thought of as play throughout their lives? (If so, I should really try and take a page from their book.)

What an amazing world it is where multiple species have developed ways to bond together and protect ourselves through laughter and play!

To sum things up, if we keep ourselves open to new possibilities and new experiences with each other, happiness may stay close by.


If you’re looking to be tickled by something else in the world today…

You’re in a great spot! You have a wonderful archive of reasons why our world is amazing right at your fingertips. I invite you to browse around, get lost in a circle or two, or simply click on our nifty “Surprise Me” button in the side bar to find yourself discovering something wonderful inside an article you may have never selected.

Happiness is a tough thing to achieve sometimes. So here at EWC, thought we would make it a bit easier for you! We have tons of smile-inducing articles, just click the button below to explore!

EWC’s Happiness and Hope Archive


  1. “Why Are We Ticklish?” YouTube. BrainCraft, 20 Apr. 2017. Web. 04 Aug. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aDA1LEsVB0>.
  2.  “Making a Bonobo Laugh – Animals in Love: Episode 1 – BBC One.” YouTube. BBC, 26 Jan. 2015. Web. 08 Aug. 2017. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhlHx5ivGGk>.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.