Thousands of United States soccer fans grabbed their heads in shock as Portuguese player Silvestre Varela headed the ball into the net in the final 30 seconds of play Sunday night, ending the World Cup match in a soul-crushing tie.
The simultaneous head-grabbing in the stands is called a “pacifier” gesture because it’s meant to self-soothe in times of disaster, according to Chris Ulrich, a senior instructor at the Body Language Institute in Washington D.C. People feel safer and smaller from threats with their hands on their heads or over their mouths, he said.
OK, the outcome of a soccer match isn’t exactly a threat. But we were winning right before the upset!
ABC News’ Gillian Mohney contributed to this report.