That’s Gross


Some things automatically disgust us, while others are learned triggered from an emotional experience. is dabbling in some neuroscience, speaking with Daniel Kelly who is an assistant professor at Purdue University and the author of, Yuck!: The Nature and Moral Significance of Disgust. Evolutionarily, humans are disgusted by dangers like rotting meat to protect us from disease. Now, we’re so evolved and complex, we can get disgusted by each other’s actions. Find out about it!

“You would think that our peers have a lot of influence on what we find disgusting and what we don’t, but past a certain point, they may be fixed. Let’s say you grow up in the Midwest like I did, and you go to state fairs where you eat elephant ears and fried Twinkies. Then as an adult, you move to San Francisco where you hang out with people who find state fair food revolting. Can their social influence make you disgusted by the foods you used to love as a kid?”

Sam Riley is an adult who works at McSweeney's. More from this author →