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In many cultures around the world, individuals engage in bizarre rituals that can be painful, costly, and even dangerous. Why do they do it? In the above video, Dr. Dimitris Xygalatas, director of Masaryk University’s LEVYNA Laboratory for the Experimental Research of Religion, explains some of the research they’ve conducted, and some of the surprising results that they’ve uncovered – such as the fact that those involved in such rituals (both participants and observers) were found to donate more money to charity. And the more intense, painful or dangerous the ritual involved, the more generous they were.

Warning: Some graphic images.