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Uploaded:2012-04-19
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One of the worst possible things that your body can imagine happening to it, is having your head get frozen. A frozen head, pre-industrial revolution, lead to death 100% of the time. So when you suck down a slurpee and the nerves at the base of your brain start getting really cold and they say "WHOA HEY THIS IS BAD BAD BAD!"

Freezing is actually quite painful. Stick your hand in a bucket of ice water and try to keep it there for more than 60 seconds if you want to see how bad it is. But your head is even more sensitive about it. So those nerves freak out. They tell you to immediately stop whatever it is your're doing and open a flood of blood vessels to warm the area. This actually helps cool you down on a hot day, which is, after all, why we keep doing it to ourselves over and over again. Because, in the middle of the summer, it's worth it.

To relieve your brainfreeze, you've got to warm up whatever it is you cooled down...sticking your tongue onto the roof of your mouth is a good start.
Michael: What causes a brain freeze?

Hank: One of the worst possible things that your body can imagine happening to it is having your head get frozen - a frozen head, pre-Industrial Revolution, leads to death 100% of the time.

So when you suck down a Slurpee and the nerves at the base of your brain start getting cold, they say, "Hey, whoa, no way, this is bad. This is very bad; bad things happening!"

Freezing is actually quite painful - stick your hand into a bucket of ice water and try to keep it in there for more than sixty seconds if you want to see how bad it is. But your head is even more sensitive about it, so those nerves freak out, and they tell you to immediately stop whatever it is you're doing, and open a flood of blood vessels to warm the area.

This actually helps cool you down on a hot day, which is, after all, why we keep doing this to ourselves.