by Xander Odell
I’ve always been interested in laughter as a behavior. It is such a strange phenomenon—how physical it is, and also how it can be so sudden, uncontrollable, and contagious. A while ago I was reading about theories for why we laugh and was intrigued to learn that we don’t have a clear answer. Some of the most popular theories include laughter as a recognition of incongruity, as a feeling of superiority, or as a release of tension. We think of comedy as being “happy,” but in a way, a joke is actually quite an uncomfortable thing.