The year – 1962

The place – Tanganyika (yes of Mondar Bose and wolf fame….only Bongs would understand, sorry about that)


Literally, a laughter epidemic!

On January 30, 1962, two or three girls in a boarding school in the village of Kashasha started giggling then laughing and then laughing hysterically. And as usual, it soon spread to others.

Before you could say chimichanga, the laughter epidemic affected 95 of the 159 pupils.

But it didn’t stop there.

It spread like wildfire to 14 schools and affected more than 1,000 people.


Christian F. Hempelmann of Texas A&M University explained how this strange behavior spread: “People take this at face value. One person laughs, then another person laughs, then it spreads like an avalanche. So when parents picked up their children from school, they started laughing. Then it spread to other villages, and so on. And depending on where you read about it, the laughing epidemic lasted for anywhere from six months to a year-and-a-half.”

The thing is science tells us that you can only laugh for around 20 seconds

Hempelemann argues that the people were showing anxiety related symptoms from rashes, to pain, to fainting and sometimes respiratory problems. Laughter was just one of the symptoms. The phenomenon lasted one year, but rather than constantly, it occurred in relapses. What happened was mass hysteria, which usually occurs among people experiencing chronic stress. Now we call it Mass Psychogenic Illness (MPI).”

Mass psychogenic illness (MPI), also called mass sociogenic illness or just sociogenic illness, is “the rapid spread of illness signs and symptoms affecting members of a cohesive group, originating from a nervous system disturbance involving excitation, loss, or alteration of function, whereby physical complaints that are exhibited unconsciously have no corresponding organic aetiology. MPI is distinct from other collective delusions, also included under the blanket terms of mass hysteria, in that MPI causes symptoms of disease, though there is no organic cause.

So there you have it people – laughter is not the best medicine, in fact, its a disease!!!! Thank fuck my life has come to such a stage that there is no more laughter else i would have to take more meds!!!!


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