***The Sun***

Why is it that when ever you look at the sun you sneeze?

You don’t. Do you?

Actually, I’ve only seen people look up to STOP from sneezing. It’s like it holds it off. Was that what you were referring to? I look at the sun(set) alot (I try to avoid looking at it during the day) but looking at the sun, any time, has never made me sneeze.

punk snot dead,

To stop from sneezing?..It happens alot to me and I know of other people who it happens to…Not all the time but the other day I was looking up at the sun and it makes me sneeze

WHY were you looking at the sun?

Do you have some sort of subconscious need for blindness?

Sometimes the sunshine will make me sneeze three times. 3 times and just thrice. Used to happen quite a bit, but not much any more. I didn’t have to look at the sun. In fact, only an idiot - soon to be a blind idiot - would look directly at the sun. Present company excluded, of course.

Oh, BTW, I don’t know.

The Man did a report on this. If I knew how, I could a link for you. I,m not that smart.MTS

yeah ok…not directly at the sun for like 10 min…but just glancing, you know you catch it in your eyes if you look at the sky and then wam bam…sneeze…I agree though looking at the sun for fun would be a stupid hobby


All you have to do is paste the url, Booker57. Making it into a tag just gets you style points.

P.S. Here’s how, replacing the < > with square brackets :

<url=“http://www.straightdope.com/classics/a2_303.html”>style points</url>

Haven’t you ever heard of light particles?
Well, they get in your nose and make you sneeze.

Side note:

Looking at the sun through specially prepared glasses, or by use of a pinhole camera, or by use of a special telescope set up specifially to project the sun onto a dark sheet of paper

(Second side note: DO NOT USE A TELESCOPE TO LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN!!! Many telescopes come with a so-called “solar filter” The first thing you do when you buy your telescope should be to throw away said solar filter, lest you be tempted to use it and become blind in the process.)

are all valid means of observing the sun, and doing so during an eclipse is a very beautiful way of observing the sun.

But make sure you get the special glasses. I believe they’re carried by places like Edmund Scientific.

LL <-- “The sun is a mass of incandescent gas, it’s a giant nuclear furnace…”

Welder’s glass, grade 10 or 12, is also an acceptable way of looking at the sun – that’s what I used for the solar eclipse in August '99. You can get a piece of it – it’s the stuff that goes in welder’s masks – at welding supply stores or smaller hardware stores, for about $10.

Speaking of which, there’s a partial solar eclipse this year on Christmas Day – visible from North America, even! Astronomy magazine has more info for those who are interested. I don’t have mine here, or I’d give more details!

The easiest way to safely view the Sun is to look at the reflection in a muddy puddle. As always, use some sense, as well: If, even in the mudpuddle, it looks too bright, then look away.

I also sneeze when it’s sunny. It’s generally just as I step outside, when the bright sunlight hits me. (No need to look at the sun.) Three sneezes right in a row, and then I’m fine. The sunlight just makes my nose feel “tickly”. When I sneeze, (or if I happen to duck out of the sunlight right away), the “tickly” feeling goes away. I think it’s a sensory overload of some sort.

I agree with Cecil’s report–there is a genetic component. My mother and sister and daughter all sneeze. I don’t know any men who are sneezers, but that may be coincidence. When I was a kid, I thought everybody did it. My husband, though, still chuckles whenever I do it, because he claims to have never known anyone else with this photic sneeze reflex. I think he just never noticed it…if you don’t sneeze, and your family members or close friends don’t sneeze, you’d probably chalk up a stranger’s or aquaintance’s sneeze to allergies or something like that.

All the males in my family (and my closest friend, also male) have the photic sneeze reflex. We generally only sneeze once, though.

I’ve always wondered if it was a defense against glare-blindness (something to which I’m subject)–forcing you to blink and look down, thus giving you a little more time to adjust. It’s more likely just a little crosstalk problem, though.

NASA’s press release about The Partial Solar Eclipse of December 25, 2000: The Last Eclipse of the 2nd Millennium!

Go to Medline and search for “sunlight and sneeze.” Some authors call it the “photic sneeze response” and some call it the “photic sneeze reflex” or “solar sneeze reflex.” It’s pretty common, apparently, but Medline doesn’t have much more about it than the titles of articles. All I know about it is that it feels really good to walk out into the sunlight and sneeze a couple of times.