That high pitched screech you let out when you’ve been caught off guard probably isn’t the manliest sound to escape your lips. However, you can blame your high decibel on genetics.
The reason why we scream has less to do with shock than you’d think. According to new research published in Current Biology, the reason why we yelp could be to activate your brain’s fear circuitry and to act as a cautionary signal.
The scream scientists (yep, it’s a thing) found that your brain interprets the sound of screams entirely differently to how you understand voices.
Ordinarily in a conversation, your brain delivers the sounds you hear to the section of your brain that deciphers things such as gender, age and tone. Screams on the other hand, head to your brain’s amygdala, where you process fear.
Normal speech usually comes in at 4 and 5 Hz, whereas screams pierce between 30-150 Hz making them all the more terrifying.
The aim of screaming is to induce fear in the listener and heighten awareness for both screamer and listener to respond to their environment.
And in case you were wondering, the scientist collected screams from YouTube, films and 19 people who screamed in a soundproof room.
If it wasn’t in the name of science, it might be sadistic.