The same things that give onions their unique flavor—sulfur compounds—are responsible for why you cry when chopping them up. According to this video from Reactions, slicing an onion breaks open onion cells and releases chemicals that transform the sulfur compounds into a gas. This gas irritates the nerves in your eyes, making them water.

To avoid the waterworks, you can wear goggles while you cook. But if you're not a fan of the whole chemistry-lab look (you do you), simply refrigerate your onions before slicing and dicing. Cold reduces the tendency of the compounds to turn into a gas, which will minimize that burning sensation. 

READ THIS NEXT: Brain Freeze Is the Worst—Here's Why It Happens

Take on too much in the New Year?

We'll make crushing your goals a whole lot easier by sending you a healthyish idea you can do every day.
Sign up to get healthy ideas
via Facebook Messenger

Sign up for a daily healthyish text message

Status Available in the U.S. and Canada only. Clicking "SIGN UP" means you would like to receive text messages from Greatist. Msg & Data rate many apply. Text STOP to cancel or HELP for help.