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The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine

From: Salt Institute for Documentary Studies
Length: 05:30

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The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is a neurological disorder with a pretty bizarre name.

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The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is a neurological disorder with a pretty bizarre name. It was discovered at the end of the 19th century and is unique to the peculiar conditions on lumberjack camps in Northern Maine. Life on camp was isolated and without entertainment, so a game was to go around and startle people to watch them jump. This behaviour became so ingrained in the lumberjacks that they developed an excessive startle response. Now neuroscientists believe that this jumping response was a damage to the structure of their brains caused by the bullying of their peers. 

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The Jumping Frenchmen of Maine is a neurological disorder with a pretty bizarre name. It was discovered at the end of the 19th century and is unique to the peculiar conditions on lumberjack camps in Northern Maine. Life on camp was isolated and without entertainment, so a game was to go around and startle people to watch them jump. This behaviour became so ingrained in the lumberjacks that they developed an excessive startle response. Now neuroscientists believe that this jumping response was a damage to the structure of their brains caused by the bullying of their peers. 

Related Website

http://www.salt.edu