Health & Spirit

Here's what happens when you get goose bumps out of nowhere

Kyle Nazario, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in Health & Fitness

Everyone has experienced "the chills" at some point. Your skin gets goose bumps and your body shivers uncontrollably. But why does it happen?

HuffPost consulted Hadley King, a dermatologist, to find the answer.

King said there are two types of chills that cause a physical response. The first a physical input, like feeling cold. The second is a psychological input, something that makes you feel a certain way.

Physical chills are easier to explain. George A. Bubenik, a physiologist, explained to Scientific American in animals with thick hair, a rising coat of hair helps insulate the skin beneath from the cold.

For emotional chills, however, the science is less clear. King said it may be that emotional stimuli trigger the release of dopamine, which causes temporary skin tingling.

These emotional triggers can include being moved by a piece of art or being afraid.

"The reason for all these responses is the subconscious release of a stress hormone called adrenaline," Bubenik said. "In humans, adrenaline is often released when we feel cold or afraid, but also if we are under stress and feel strong emotions, such as anger or excitement."


According to Bustle, these emotional chills are more likely to happen if something unexpected happens in the art a person in consuming.

The science isn't clear, but it seems a good place to start to give yourself the chills is consuming some great art that can surprise you.

(c)2019 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta, Ga.)

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