Scientists have found that the ability to detect sarcasm is a really useful skill.

Over the past 20 years, researchers have found that exposure to sarcasm increases creative problem solving; brains have to work harder to understand sarcasm, possibly increasing our mental abilities; and children understand and use sarcasm by the time they start attending playschool.

There’s also a geographic divide between those who find sarcasm funny and those who don’t.

A study that compared college students from upstate New York with students from near Memphis, Tennessee, found that the Northerners were more likely to suggest sarcastic jibes when asked to fill in the dialogue in a hypothetical conversation.

Northerners also were more likely to think sarcasm was funny: 56 percent of Northerners found sarcasm humorous while only 35 percent of Southerners did. The New Yorkers and male students from either location were more likely to describe themselves as sarcastic. (Source: Smithsonian Magazine)

For more fascinating insights into sarcasm, take a look at the full article from Smithsonian Magazine.