Your Onion Tears Are Different From Your Break-Up Tears

Human emotion is an extremely complicated thing to understand. We move from feeling to feeling in a rapid-fire pace almost, laughing madly when we are frustrated and crying when we are happy. But did you know that your tears are biologically different depending on the reason behind them?

Human tears are defined by three major categories. If you just broke up with your lover of eight years or are elated about news you are likely crying "psychic tears" which are tears of extreme emotion. "Basal tears" are released continuously to keep the cornea lubricated. Then finally there are "reflex tears" that are in reaction to things like dust and of course onion vapors.

Photographer Rose-Lynn Fisher decided to take a look even deeper into the complexity of human tears in her photo essay The Topography of Tears. In a personal study she conducted based on her own tearful experiences, she analyzed over 100 slides of dried tears under a standard light microscope and discovered something remarkable. Not only were her tears different according to their origin, each emotion or physical reflex her tears created a "terrain" of emotion visible in the photos. Her incredible photo essay can be viewed here.

So when you're crying because of a particularly stinky onion: here is what your tears could look like:

(Onion tears, photo © Rose-Lynn Fisher