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Pop Culture

Terrified of turbulence? This TikTok star's 'jello video' may help ease your fear of flying

Just keep telling yourself, "We're in jello."

aerophobia, flying, airplanes, jello

If you're afraid of turbulence, just imagine the plane is suspended in jello.

This article originally appeared on 06.23.22


Fear of flying—aerophobia, in technical terms—is an extremely common phobia, affecting around 25 million adults in the U.S. alone. Some people grit their teeth and white-knuckle their way through their fear, while others find themselves unable to get on an airplane at all because of it.

Such a fear is understandable, really. Hurtling through the sky at 500 miles per hour, tens of thousands of feet above the Earth's surface, isn't exactly the way humans were designed to get from place to place. (We may have evolved with the brain power and ingenuity to make it happen, but that doesn't mean we automatically go along for the ride without our sense of self-preservation kicking in.)


One of the triggers for people with aerophobia is turbulence—the occasional shaking and pitching of an aircraft when it hits certain conditions in the atmosphere. Even people who are comfortable flying can find turbulence disconcerting sometimes, especially when it creates a sudden dropping sensation. Turbulence is normal, but it doesn't feel normal when you're sitting in a chair 30,000 feet from solid ground. It feels chaotic and out of control.

Anna Paul, a popular TikTok star from Australia, has shared a helpful visual for people freaked out by turbulence in a video that has more than 19 million views.

Paul explains that a pilot shared the analogy of a plane flying through the air being like an object suspended in jello. There's pressure on all sides, so even if the jello is shaken—and the object shaken along with it—the pressure suspends the object.

In other words, a plane is not going to suddenly drop down out of the sky due to turbulence, in the same way that an object won't drop out of the middle of a bowl of jello.

Watch:

@anna..paull

Fear of flying tip ✈️❤️

The jello analogy is also used by aerophobia experts. Therapist Les Posen specializes in flying phobias, and he shows his clients a model airplane suspended in raspberry jello to illustrate the fact that turbulence won't cause a plane to drop out of the sky. He even goes a step farther by having clients smell the jello, and then advises them to eat some raspberry candy or juice on the plane to remind themselves of the analogy, using their senses to calm their nerves.

At the end of her video, Paul said there's never been a plane crash from turbulence, but that's not quite true. In 1966, a flight (BOAC 911) coming out of Tokyo broke apart in midair due to unexpected severe turbulence. However, that was a very long time ago. Monitoring of meteorological conditions has greatly advanced since then, as have the designs of modern aircraft and the skill of pilots, so experts will tell you that turbulence is not something to worry about.

If imagining air pressure as jello doesn't really work for you, it may be helpful to have a visual of what turbulence actually is. For that, Captain Stuart Walker, who has been flying for 30 years, explains the four main types of turbulence, what causes them and what pilots do to avoid them or reduce their impact. He also explains what passengers can do to minimize their chances of feeling turbulence on a flight, such as sitting over the wings or toward the front of the plane and flying earlier in the day when temperatures are not as likely to cause air disturbances.

Whether you prefer hospital-food-based analogies or no-nonsense, scientific explanations, the bottom line is that turbulence feels far scarier than it actually is. A shaking plane is not going to drop from the sky, modern aircraft can withstand a great deal of movement midair and pilots are highly trained to handle turbulence.

And remember: Commercial airline travel really is the safest way to get to where you're going, statistically speaking. So next time you fly, kick back, relax and imagine you're suspended in jello, knowing you're in capable hands when the turbulence starts.

Nature

Pennsylvania home is the entrance to a cave that’s been closed for 70 years

You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.

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Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.

The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.

Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.

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Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Mental health is a top-of-mind issue for a lot of people. Thanks to social media and people being more open about their struggles, the stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment appears to be diminishing. But after the social and emotional interruption of teens due the pandemic, the mental health crises among adolescents seem to have jumped to record numbers.

PBS reports that Oregon is "ranked as the worst state for youth mental illness and access to care." But they're attempting to do something about it with a program that trains teenagers to answer crisis calls from other teens. They aren't alone though, as there's a master's level supervisor at the ready to jump in if the call requires a mental health professional.

The calls coming into the Oregon YouthLine can vary drastically, anywhere from relationship problems to family struggles, all the way to thoughts of self-harm and suicide. Teens manning the phones are provided with 60 hours of training and are taught to recognize when the call needs to be taken over by the adult supervisor.

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Family

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@emilyboazman/TikTok

Hyperemesis gravidarum isn't as common as regular morning sickness, but it's much more severe.

Morning sickness is one of the most commonly known and most joked about pregnancy symptoms, second only to peculiar food cravings. While unpleasant, it can often be alleviated to a certain extent with plain foods, plenty of fluids, maybe some ginger—your typical nausea remedies. And usually, it clears up on its own by the 20-week mark. Usually.

But sometimes, it doesn’t. Sometimes moms experience stomach sickness and vomiting, right up until the baby is born, on a much more severe level.

Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG), isn’t as widely talked about as regular morning sickness, but those who go through it are likely to never forget it. Persistent, extreme nausea and vomiting lead to other symptoms like dehydration, fainting, low blood pressure and even jaundice, to name a few.

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“Sister Wives” star Christine Brown is back in the dating pool after ending her “spiritual union” with polygamist Kody Brown and she needs a little help to get back in the swing of things. Christine and Kody were together for more than 25 years and she shared him with three other women, Janelle, Meri and Robyn.

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