How It Works

Top 5 Facts: Human fear

1. Superhuman – Normally, you can tap into about 65 per cent of the available energy in your muscles. Fear unlocks the deficit, enabling people in emergencies to often perform inexplicable feats.

2. Neurosis – One theory from a study at Tel Aviv University, Israel, is that people who have subpar danger-detection abilities overcompensate by being generally fearful/anxious.

3. Mum – A 40-something mum known as SM lost her amygdalae to a degenerative disease. With no sense of fear, she readily approaches muggers, snakes and other things that she knows intellectually to be dangerous.

4. Stink – The legendary smell of fear is for real. A 2008 Stony Brook University study found that scared people give off pheromones in their sweat that can trigger fear in others.

5. Sick – One of the non-essential systems fear puts on hold is the immune system. As a result, regular fear and anxiety can increase your susceptibility to disease.