HomeDo Crocodiles Really Shed Fake Tears? The Real Story Behind Crocodile Tears

    Do Crocodiles Really Shed Fake Tears? The Real Story Behind Crocodile Tears

    Crocodile tears is a very popular expression that people use in their day-to-day life. It basically denotes that someone is faking their emotions since it is known that a crocodile doesn’t really cry. They use their fake tears to attract prays.

    But, despite using the expression countless times, do we really know the real story behind it? Let’s try to find the answer if crocodiles actually cry or it’s just a made-up expression.

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    Do Crocodiles Really Cry?


    The expression of crocodile tears actually comes from an old myth, the giant reptiles shed tears while eating their prey.

    According to several sources, the myth came into existence in the 13th century. It started when a religious worker wrote that if a crocodile found a man by the water, it would kill him. The reptile would first shed tears for his prey and then finally swallow him.

    Another myth about the crocs is that the animals are very crafty and tricky creatures. They shed their tears to show fake guilt or grief to trick their prey. But over the years, scientific and wildlife experts have debunked this theory.

    While crocodiles do shed tears, they do it because the fluid helps them clean their eyes. In humans and several other species, tears are released through tear ducts or other similar glands.

    They form a film over the eye that is made up of three elements: mucus, water, and oil. The mucus covers the eye’s surface and aids in the adhesion of the film, the water provides a natural saline solution providing essential proteins and minerals, and the oil keeps the eye from drying out.

    Humans Are The Only Ones To Shed Emotional Tears

    Nile crocodile
    Nile crocodile

    According to experts, human beings are the only known creatures that shed tears evoked out of emotion. The term crocodile tears are derived from crocodiles’ habit of shedding tears while eating to clean their eyes. They mostly do it when they have been out of water for a long time and the eyes start to dry out.

    Tears have other functions as well apart from expressing grief. They aid our eyesight by lubricating the eye and cleaning the dirt out of it. They also help protect the eye from infection and nourish the cornea, the transparent outer layer of the eye that lacks blood vessels.

    There is a condition called Bogorad’s syndrome which causes a person to shed tears while eating food. It has been named crocodile tears syndrome in reference to the myth.

    The term recently got popular during the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp defamation case. Many called Amber shedding crocodile tears to guilt people into believing her story.

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