“…laughter is more often prompted by banal comments than amusing jokes. That makes it even more mysterious.”
Source: New Scientist August 2009.
Laughter, or something very similar, has been observed in various different species – including (but probably not limited to) chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, orangutans, rats, mice and dogs. Although it’s known that laughter can be induced by various situations, joy, play, relief, and humour etc - the biological function of laughter in humans (if there is one) is not known.
The evoultionary reasons for the emergence of laughter is also unknonwn, see :
Note: One of the laughter inducing stimuli – humour – has its own academic journal. The International Journal of Humor Research
Ideas for new topics, and suggested additions / corrections for old ones, are always welcome.
If you have skills or interests in a particular field, and have suggestions for Wikenigma, get in touch !
Or, if you'd like to become a regular contributor . . . request a login password. Registered users can edit the entire content of the site, and also create new pages.
( The 'Notes for contributors' section in the main menu has further information and guidelines etc.)