This is the world's funniest joke, according to science

8 December 2021, 14:28

Will the world's funniest joke make you laugh?
Will the world's funniest joke make you laugh? Picture: NBC
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Let's see if the 'world's funniest joke' makes you howl with laughter – somehow we think you might be a little disappointed.

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We've all got that one joke in the back of our heads that someone told us once that made us unable to breath through laughing so much.

And while that memory might still make you giggle every now and again, it sadly isn't the world's funniest joke (unless it is the one you're about to read).

Now, thanks to scientific research, we do know what the funniest joke in the world is.

Prepare yourself, here's the joke: Two hunters are out in the woods when one of them collapses. He doesn't seem to be breathing and his eyes are glazed. The other guy whips out his phone and calls the emergency services. He gasps: "My friend is dead! What can I do?" The operator says: "Calm down, I can help. First, let's make sure he's dead." There is a silence, then a shot is heard. Back on the phone, the guy says: "OK, now what?".

The 'world's funniest joke' was found in a study that surveyed 1.5million people
The 'world's funniest joke' was found in a study that surveyed 1.5million people. Picture: Getty

Feeling underwhelmed? Well, you're not the only ones.

This joke was titled the world's funniest joke after research carried out in 2001 by Psychologist Dr Richard Wiseman created a study through the website LaughLab.

The Psychologist, over the course of a year, invited 1.5million people from across the world to rate five randomly selected jokes.

These jokes came from a database of 40,000 different quips.

Speaking to The Guardian, Wiseman said: "Many of the jokes submitted received higher ratings from certain groups of people, but this one had real universal appeal.

"Also, we find jokes funny for lots of different reasons. They sometimes make us feel superior to others, reduce the emotional impact of anxiety-provoking situations or surprise us because of some kind of incongruity. The hunters joke contained all three elements."

And while some people may not have found the joke overly hilarious, of course, humour is subjective and what will make one person shed a tear could leave another stone-faced.

Tell us in our poll below whether you found the joke funny!