When we cry, a special gland produces a salty fluid that we call tears. And they are needed so that the eye can get rid of foreign objects. Tears also serve to moisturize the eyeball and help relieve stress. But why do tears taste salty? We will try to explain it to you!
It turns out it's all about their composition. Approximately 99% of the tear consists of H2O (water), and the rest is inorganic substances, including, of course, sodium chloride (salt). The percentage of salt is extremely small, but the taste in a tear is pronounced.
The reasons for the concentration of sodium chloride are still poorly understood, but general patterns have already been deduced. The salinity of a tear depends on various metabolic processes in the body of each person. When a person cries, the work of the thyroid gland increases, and the adrenal glands begin to function vigorously. At the same time, the heart rate increases. Thus, the body experiences a load that is similar to heavy physical exertion. Then potassium and magnesium ions are mixed with sodium chloride, which gives an additional bitter taste. These are the saltiest tears. Endocrinologists say that such tears flow more often from self-pity.
There are tears with lower salt levels, for example in young children and in adults crying for joy.